Return to Campus Update
May 7 2021
New Assurance Bursary
We are thrilled to announce our new TRU Assurance Bursary, which will provide up to $20,000 to at least 25 students this year alone!
This support is available to returning TRU students enrolled in campus-based degree programs. Preference will be given to students in open degree programs (Bachelors of: Arts, Fine Arts, Business Administration, Computing Science, and Science), who are from the TRU region. Apply before May 30: tru.ca/assurance
Be sure to visit our Student Awards & Financial Aid website for updated financial support opportunities and news, like the deadline extension of our Adult Upgrading Emergency Access Grant. This needs-based grant enables students to overcome continuing education barriers like lack of computer hardware, software or internet connectivity. Students looking to access preparatory-and secondary-level courses, including Adult Basic Education, are eligible to apply: tru.ca/aug
Return to Campus Update
April 30, 2021
As we prepare for a full return to campus this fall, we appreciate that you may have questions now, and in the weeks and months to come. To help keep you up to date, our plan is to provide a weekly update each Friday on here on our Return to Campus website. While we will continue to send emails regularly, you will see weekly updates on our website which will also be highlighted on our social media channels.
The academic calendar for the 2021-22 academic year is now available, with the schedule of courses for fall and winter semesters to be available in early June. Registration for fall and winter courses is scheduled to begin on June 21.
A new bursary for returning students will be announced next week. The bursary will be available for up to 100 students per year who are unable to obtain sufficient funding for their return. Students will be eligible for up to $5,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000 over the duration of 120 total undergraduate credits or six years.
Vaccine registration now open to all residents 18+
Yesterday, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced that by June 26 all B.C. residents will have access to a first vaccine dose. To date, 1.75 million British Columbians have received their first dose, with the number of available doses expected to double in May. Approximately 35% of Interior Health region residents, which includes the Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses, have received their first dose.
Anyone born 2003 or earlier can register now to get a vaccine.
New document provides guidance for institutions
The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer was released today to help B.C.’s post-secondary institutions plan for a full return to on-campus teaching, learning and research in September.
The primer provides more detail about the key public health planning assumptions and safety measures to help institutions prepare for a September return to campus. The planning assumptions and guidance have been informed by a continued commitment to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our campus communities, while remaining mindful of the importance of adaptability as conditions change.
The primer was developed by a team of experts from the public post-secondary sector in partnership with representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, regional health authorities and the ministry.
The Go-Forward Guidelines for BC’s post-secondary sector are currently being revised to reflect the infection prevention and control measures appropriate for COVID-19 conditions in the fall and will be released in the coming weeks.
Helping you to succeed in your educational journey is our priority and we look forward to returning in person and safely bringing back our vibrant community.
Message from the President — An Update on COVID-19 response and planning
April 21, 2021
Dear TRU Community,
It has been over a year since we became greatly impacted personally and professionally by the COVID-19 pandemic. I know it has come with challenges and the need to quickly adapt. I have been truly impressed by how our TRU community has persevered and allowed us to continue to support our students.
As many of you wind down the winter term and think about the months ahead, I would like to provide an update on several fronts regarding our September return to campus planning. While there is a recent surge of COVID-19 infections in many parts of Canada, we know, based on modeling from the Provincial Health Office, combined with vaccinations, the fall will look dramatically different and much better than today. Hence, we continue with our fall planning for a significant return of students, faculty and staff and are working diligently to ensure your return will be safe and supportive, and, as much as possible, allow for the excitement and activity you expect on campus.
Return to campus report
The Fall 2021 Return to Campus Initiative launched in January by our Provost Christine Bovis-Cnossen and led by Donna Murnaghan is nearing completion. The executive recently received the final report and looks forward to sharing it with you soon along with more information on planning for the fall. This planning is designed to support our students and reconnect our community. The report will also be made public on our website. We again wish to thank the many students, faculty and staff who participated in this planning work by taking surveys, submitting information, or reviewing data.
Vaccines and pandemic measures
We know how difficult the past year has been and encourage everyone to continue to do their part. Please take a personal pledge to commit to following health measures, for you, your family, and your community. Today, that includes the crucial action of limiting contact with others, so the virus variants do not enter your circle.
Looking ahead, vaccines are quickly becoming available to British Columbians. We encourage you to get registered for your vaccination when eligible. International students are also eligible to receive the vaccine. Details on registration can be found here.
Web pages updated
As we prepare for a fall return to campus, we have launched a new layout for the return to campus web pages. We are hopeful this will make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for now and in the future as our efforts ramp up. Please check this site regularly for updates.
These are comprehensive health and safety guidelines for campus operations during the pandemic for BC’s post-secondary sector, first released in summer 2020 and last revised in February. Working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Provincial Health Office, Matt Milovick, TRU Vice-President, Administration and Finance, has been leading the provincial steering group to release a primer document within the next few weeks, followed by a full revision of the guidelines in June. As we wait for the updated Go-Forward Guidelines, the primer will provide a preview of what to expect and planning recommendations for a fall return to campus.
It is expected within a few weeks of the primer’s release that a virtual townhall will be hosted by the Provincial Health Office for our sector’s local labour executives and human resources leaders from across the sector to respond to the sector’s specific questions.
For our greater community, we will likely host another TRU townhall with an Interior Health Medical Health Officer for students, faculty and staff. We expect this will take place in June. We appreciate that you have concerns and our commitment to the TRU community is to provide regular communications and updates as new information becomes available. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate a challenging planning environment and encourage you to continue to check our web page where information will be updated regularly.
In closing, please take a personal pledge to commit to following health measures, for you, your family, and your community. I again encourage you to register to get a vaccine as soon as possible by registering here.
President and Vice-Chancellor
September return to campus
April 1, 2021
While we continue to see the addition of new health measures in recent days, our plans for a September return to campus are continuing. Public health authorities remain supportive of our plan for in-person learning in the fall. Of course, we are working toward a safe return, and expect new guidelines in the coming weeks which will outline the actions we must take to ensure the campus is safe for everyone to return.
We know you have many decisions to make including travel, accommodations, and employment. We are working to provide resources to guide you and appreciate your patience as we prepare. On that note, campus housing is now accepting applications.
The path out of the pandemic involves following local health measures and guidance. Going back to in-person activities will take some getting used to. You play an important part in pushing the pandemic away by limiting your exposure, washing your hands often and wearing a mask. If we work together, we will be together. See you in September!
Update on Return to Campus initiative
March 24, 2021
I am pleased to provide a brief update on the Return to Campus Initiative. As you are aware, on March 8, the provincial health officer provided direction to all post-secondary institutions in BC that we could plan for a significant return to campus for the fall term.
Our planning is aligning with this direction, for a fuller return to campus, while also considering back-up plans should circumstances around the pandemic change.
Planning is now in its final stage, as we review information collected from students and faculty, as well, institutional service units and form our plan for September’s return.
We want to thank all of you who completed surveys as you have provided us with a wealth of information that will be very useful for our planning.
Our next steps are:
- Review collected information with our steering committee on March 26 and with student groups as we look to gain further insights
- Complete our plan for a full return to campus as well as a backup plan if health measures remain in place in September
- Submit this plan to the Provost by mid-April
Students and faculty should plan for a return to campus in September. Please be aware that our plans will be based on best information as well as delivery plans that support BC Go Forward Guidelines.
Special Advisor to the Provost