New Restrictions to Support Our Community’s Health and Safety
November 20, 2020
Yesterday, BC's Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry announced province-wide restrictions that affect us as individuals and as an institution. Please take the time to review this message to understand the impacts.
Mandatory indoor mask use
When indoors on campus, all students, faculty, staff and visitors are now required to wear non-medical masks. This applies to shared indoor spaces within TRU buildings (e.g. hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms, study spaces, classrooms, labs, studios, shops, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas). Exceptions will be provided for people with underlying medical conditions that inhibit their ability to wear masks.
Masks may be removed if:
- you are working in a cubicle space in an open office, that is physically distant from other cubicles and/or engineered controls are in place to create separation. This includes when you are seated and physically distanced in open study areas like HL 190, but masks must be worn when unseated.
- you are taking part in certain athletic or fitness activities.
Suspension of social gathering and events
All TRU-related face-to-face social gatherings and events (including outside gatherings) are suspended until further notice. This includes any planned holiday events.
Reducing our on-campus numbers and impacts to on-campus services
Departments are scaling back their on-campus presence to limit our on-campus activity to those who need to be there. This means that starting Monday, we are making adjustments to the hours in-person student services are available. Please visit our Campus Services and Spaces webpage for updates on accessing services remotely and in person. At this time, we are not making any changes to approved on-campus learning activities.
We’d also like to stress the importance of daily self-assessments for those coming to campus. Everyone who comes to campus is expected to self-assess using the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool before each visit to TRU property. Please remember to do this yourself and remind your colleagues to do the same.
We witnessed the results of our collective efforts in the spring and we hope to see the same in the near future. We will provide an update when we have new information to share. Thank you for your commitment to these changes to help keep our community healthy and safe.
Christine L. Bovis-Cnossen
Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research
Vice-President Administration & Finance
Winter course delivery update
Sept. 1, 2020
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health.
I would like to thank our faculty for the tremendous efforts that have been put into getting courses and programs ready for largely virtual delivery, as well as our staff for the planning and support to ensure our students are well-supported and our campuses are ready for the academic year. I know that many of you worked tirelessly over the summer to be ready for fall term, and I want you to know your work is greatly appreciated.
With fall semester now one week away, I’d like to provide you with an update on the delivery of our winter courses. The information below is aligned with the update we are providing students and making available throughout our website.
As with the fall semester, for winter, a small number of courses will continue to be delivered in person and on campus with strict safety protocols in place. These courses will appear in the course schedule with buildings and room numbers as well as scheduled days and times. All other courses will be delivered virtually.
Most courses that are delivered virtually will be a blend of scheduled virtual meetings (i.e. synchronous activity) as well as assignment of work that does not require specific meeting times (i.e. asynchronous activity). These courses appear in the course schedule with the building listed as “virtual delivery”.
The course schedule still includes times and days for courses delivered virtually to ensure conflict-free timetables; however, not all weekly scheduled meeting times will be required for synchronous activity in all courses.
Instructors will identify during the first week of the semester which, if any, weekly scheduled times will require virtual synchronous activity.
Students should select virtual delivery courses with the understanding that they may be required to participate virtually in synchronous activity during the scheduled days and times indicated.
I extend my continued thanks to everyone who has helped in making the changes we have had to make for the delivery of our courses, and adapting to the variety of restrictions that are in place as a result of the pandemic. I remain confident that together, we are best prepared to ensure the safety our community and to continue delivering high quality education to our students.
In peace, health and harmony,
Christine L. Bovis-Cnossen
Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research
Things to know for the upcoming fall term at TRU
Along with all of my colleagues, I am excited to welcome you back to the 2020/2021 academic year, be it virtually or on-campus. Changes have been made on campus to ensure your health and safety, which are our top priorities. While it will look and feel different, what remains unchanged is our commitment to support you and your success in your chosen programs and courses. The following provides an overview of your role in the shared responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 and how you can access TRU supports and services.
COVID-19 health and safety
As part of our institutional safety plan, if you are returning to campus (for face-to-face instruction or to participate in athletic training) you are required to complete three mandatory courses. Please ensure you have completed these before you return.
Once on campus, we have ongoing responsibilities to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to frequent hand washing and physical distancing, you are expected to self assess using the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool every day before arriving on campus, to stay home if you feel sick, and to call 811 if you believe you are infected or have been in contact with COVID-19.
Regarding masks, we recommend that if you’re coming to campus to always bring one since there may be times that you wish to wear one for your personal comfort or when physical distancing of at least 2 metres is not possible.
Also important to note:
- Our cleaning protocols have increased and are consistent with the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC recommendations for post-secondary institutions.
- Some rooms and spaces are closed or rearranged to allow for physical distancing.
- Signage is posted throughout campus to identify room occupancies, traffic flow, physical distancing, etc.
- Air quality has been improved with increased ventilation, air flow and filtering.
We have been working hard over the past few months to deliver many campus services remotely, including the Faculty of Student Development, Enrolment Services and International Services. As well, the Faculty of Student Development, Enrolment Services and International Services will have office hours for on-campus students’ questions and for some services. All on-campus activities must follow safety protocols. You can find more details on services and contact details at each of the web pages linked above.
The TRU Bookstore has partnered with VitalSource, which allows the bookstore to offer more digital content, reduces costs and allows for instant access to course materials. Orders over $50 qualify for free shipping using coupon code FREESHIP50 or you can pick up orders through our pick-up window.
For library services, please contact TRU Libraries, which are available to support you online.
Print Services is open and accepting orders by email.
For up-to-date information on these and other campus services, including which food services will be available, see our Campus Services and Spaces page, which will continue to be updated as service levels change.
Study space and computer labs
Room HL 190 in the House of Learning is a designated study space for students. A list of available computer labs and printers is included on our Campus Services and Spaces page.
Starting Sept. 1, parking fees will resume on the Kamloops campus. Please see the Student Parking page for more information.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we may need to adapt rules, restrictions and access to continue allowing people on campus. For the latest information, please visit TRU COVID-19 Response. If you have any questions, please send to COVID19info@tru.ca.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. We look forward to building our connections and fostering your learning this fall.
In peace, health and harmony,
Christine L. Bovis-Cnossen
Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research
What BC's Go-Forward Strategy Means for TRU
May 7, 2020
TRU President Brett Fairbairn shares a message with students, faculty and staff in response to the Province’s newly-announced Go Forward Strategy for COVID-19.
Preparing for Upcoming Terms
May 6, 2020
Thank you for your patience and flexibility in making your way through the winter term. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, and we prepare for the summer and fall semesters, TRU is guided by the principle that the health and wellbeing of students, staff and faculty is paramount above all other considerations, and committed to adhering to all directives from the Provincial Health Officer.
All spring/summer programming is being offered in alternate delivery formats, with some adjustments to start dates. For some students, this first week of the semester is a prep week, while for others, remote delivery classes began on May 4.
Your instructors will connect with you directly as arrangements are made, so we ask for your patience during this time of change.
TRU, like every other post-secondary institution, is working through how we approach future semesters due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently reviewing our fall schedule to ensure that it will meet the needs of our students.
I want to reassure you that we are preparing to offer our full breadth of courses this fall. As we review our fall schedule, we will ensure it is delivered in alignment with the physical distancing guidelines stipulated by the Provincial Health Officer, various ministries, and public health agencies.
While continuing as best we can to offer exceptional learning opportunities, we recognize and accept that the COVID-19 pandemic will impact how programs and services are delivered. Now, in response to current provincial guidance, we are planning to move forward responsibly with face-to-face course delivery where possible—especially for courses where experiential learning is required—understanding that these classes will look and feel different due to mandatory physical distancing and group size controls.
For many programs, alternate delivery will continue this fall. We are dedicating time and resources over the summer to ensure students, faculty and staff will have all the support they need in the fall to effectively teach, study and work remotely, as needed.
Throughout this important transition, we will maintain a risk-based approach to re-opening campus, with strict adherence to all provincial directives.
As we work through the various scenarios for the fall schedule, we have taken the reluctant decision to delay the release of the fall and winter schedules. We hope to have more to share in the coming weeks, but please know that we are carefully considering all options to ensure the most successful fall semester for our students, faculty and staff. Returning students, please know that TRU is working diligently to ensure you are able to maintain your current academic pathways. Continued updates will be provided through email and at tru.ca/covid-19.
As we adapt to our new normal, we will uphold TRU's commitment to flexibility, recognizing that many of you have additional responsibilities due to the COVID-19 situation. How we serve our students this summer and fall will continue to look different as the pandemic continues, but our commitment to providing you with the best education possible will not change. Be safe and please be well.
In peace, health, and harmony,
Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research
April 28, 2020
While the way in which TRU provides service is different given the current environment, our service and commitment to providing you with the best education possible remains. In response to your recent inquiries about tuition, fees, penalties and refunds, please note the following financial details.
Refunds for TRU programs/offerings
The following refund policies apply to all TRU programs/offerings, including on-campus, Open Learning, trades, field courses, practica, continuing studies, etc., except for international contract training programs.
If you’ve paid for a course/offering that we cannot continue to deliver now or at a future date, your tuition and fees will be automatically credited to your myTRU account. You can then request a refund of that credit balance through myTRU.
If you’ve paid for a course/offering that is now continuing through an alternative delivery format, or continuation has been postponed to a future date, we are not able to offer a refund; however, we recognize that extenuating individual circumstances may apply, and we have a process for requesting withdrawals with refunds in such cases. See Withdrawal in extenuating circumstances.
Tuition remains unchanged for summer semester as well as fall. While the delivery format of our courses has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these courses continue to be taught by the same experienced faculty as they would have in person, and you will continue to earn full academic credit for your studies. Services like the library, computer labs, academic advising, career services and counselling also remain available to you through alternative delivery modes.
All fees will continue to be charged for summer and fall semesters. Many of TRU’s fees go to supporting services, both virtual and non-virtual. The activities (and ultimately costs) continue regardless of delivery method. Ancillary fees, for example, support the TRU Library's resources and services, which are seeing increasing use digitally, and IT infrastructure for learning and student labs, which is seeing much greater demand. Some fees go to the TRU Students’ Union (TRUSU), which TRU is required to collect by legislation.
Late penalty and interest
From April to August, TRU will temporarily suspend the application of late fees and interest to overdue student accounts. If your account is overdue, it will still be placed on hold, meaning certain activities including course registrations will be restricted, but financial penalties will not be charged during this period. This waiver will provide relief to those students in financial hardship due to COVID-19 by allowing you to delay payment of tuition and fees until Sept. 4, 2020.
Emergency financial assistance
TRU has funds available from BC Advanced Education, TRUSU and the TRU Foundation to support currently-enrolled students with emergency financial need. For more information, visit the Emergency Funding page.
The federal government has recently announced additional funding to support students in need, increase scholarship amounts for graduate research to continue, and create jobs through wage subsidies. For links to financial supports and other assistance available from national or provincial programs, visit the COVID-19 Student Information page.
Message from TRU President Brett Fairbairn
April 23, 2020
Message to students
TRU President Brett Fairbairn discusses education and pushing through during uncertain times.
Survey: impacts of COVID-19 on post-secondary students
In these difficult times, when everyone's lives are being affected by COVID-19, you can do something important for the student community. You can provide your perspective on the current crisis by sharing how your studies, financial situation and other aspects of your life have been affected by the pandemic.
This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic.Take StatsCan's 5-minute survey
Let's celebrate on June 22
For those graduating students who were to convocate this June, TRU will host a virtual celebration on Monday, June 22. We invite you and your families to get together virtually with your classmates, faculties and schools to share your achievements. More information about the celebration will be sent to graduands in the coming weeks.
Class of 2020 graduates will also have an opportunity to participate in future convocation ceremonies in either the fall of 2020 or the spring of 2021. Details are to be determined and dependent on the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and on venue availability.
If you applied for graduation by March 31, 2020, you will receive your parchment by mail. In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to confirm mailing addresses, which you can update on myTRU.
Convocation holds a special place in the life of this university. It is a time to celebrate your many achievements with your friends and family. We thank you for your patience during this difficult time, and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments with you.
Please visit the COVID-19: Student Information page for answers to frequently asked questions on summer and fall registration, exams, financial aid, classes, services and health supports.
Here2Talk 24/7 Counselling & Referral Services
April 17, 2020
All post-secondary students in BC can now access a new mental-health counselling and referral service specifically for your needs.
Here2Talk offers free, single-session counselling services that you can access confidentially 24/7 by phone, online chat or the Here2Talk App whenever you need support. Get in touch with a counsellor by calling 1-877-857-3397 toll free, or from outside of Canada, 1-604-642-5212.
All students currently registered to study at any post-secondary institution in British Columbia, whether public or private, are eligible to access this program. This includes:
- full-time and part-time students
- Canadian domestic and international students
- students studying abroad
- online or distance education students
- students registered in private training programs
- first-year students through to master's and PhD students
For more information, please visit here2talk.ca.
You can also find information on how to access TRU services such as counselling on our >COVID-19 website.
Message from the President
April 8, 2020
President Brett Fairbairn shares a personal message to students, faculty and staff on the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19.
Emergency financial assistance and flexibility on withdrawals
April 3, 2020
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Given the difficult circumstances some students are finding themselves in as a result of COVID-19, in a crisis that is rapidly changing, TRU has made further changes to provide support during this time. Please note the following updates and reminders of available supports.
Withdrawals during the COVID-19 crisis
Given the difficult circumstances some students are finding themselves in as a result of COVID-19, we are extending the option to withdraw from courses with no academic penalty to include after students have received their final grades. Students can elect to receive a W (Withdrawal) in place of final grades they feel have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation. Please note this withdrawal provision does not apply to any students who receive a final grade of F due to a finding under the Student Academic Integrity Policy.
Please visit Withdrawals for more information. The option to withdraw during the COVID-19 crisis applies to on-campus courses for the 2020 winter semester as well as Open Learning courses started between Aug. 15, 2019 and March 31, 2020, that were not completed as of March 15, 2020.
Withdrawal request forms will be made available within students' myTRU accounts in the coming days.
Emergency financial assistance
Any TRU student can apply to receive TRU emergency financial assistance. Funds are allocated according to need and urgency, with priority given to students most in need of basic necessities like food or medications.
Students seeking emergency funds are encouraged to visit our Emergency Funding page and review the instructions to apply. A single application is all that is required to be considered for all funding sources available.
TRU administers a variety of funds for emergency financial assistance, and these have recently been expanded thanks to the generosity of the TRU Students’ Union, the provincial government (which has allocated funding both for BC students in general and for Indigenous learners specifically), the federal government, TRU and the TRU Foundation. Please keep in mind this funding is reserved for helping students get through an immediate and unexpected crisis, and is not for general shortfalls over the coming semester.
The TRU Students’ Union has a Food Bank where members can access groceries if they are in need.
Mental health supports for students
We encourage students experiencing stress to access the resources we have available. Counselling Services are available virtually by appointment, by calling 250-828-5023 or emailing email@example.com. Other resources for specific needs:
- the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy offers reflection, understanding, and perspective on big, theoretical questions
- the Medical Clinic offers assistance if you are physical or mentally unwell
- Early Alert and Student Case Managers can provide support to students in academic distress
- TRU Student Life can provide other strategies and resources.
- in the community, the Interior Health Authority offers a crisis line and numerous other mental health resources
March 31, 2020
Dear TRU Students,
I hope this letter finds you safe and well. I know that current circumstances related to COVID-19 have created uncertainty for many students. Amidst having to quickly transition to new ways of learning and studying, many of you may be wondering how these changes could affect your academic performance, worried about your health and well-being or that of family members, perhaps even concerned about finances. I am sorry that these challenges have come to you and to so many others at this time in history.
I want to reassure you that you do not have to carry any of this alone. We are here for you, and every area of TRU is firmly focused on helping you complete your winter term successfully. I want to tell you about several provisions you can take full advantage of immediately, to alleviate some of the pressures you may be feeling and effectively navigate these extenuating circumstances.
Temporary permission for course withdrawals after assignment of final grades
To prevent lasting impacts on academic progress and success, TRU has made a policy change as follows: students who receive a final grade of “D” or “F” and feel that their achievement was affected by the COVID-19 situation may elect to withdraw from the course. This would result in a grade of “W” with no academic penalty or impact on their grade-point average (GPA).
Extended timelines for final grade deferrals at the discretion of instructors
TRU has empowered faculty members to extend the standard six-week timing for deferred final grades, for a period up to one academic term, to allow students extra time to complete course work. If an instructor does not grant the requested extension, a student may appeal directly to their dean.
Note: pass-fail (credit/non-credit) grading will not be offered across TRU
I also want you to know that TRU cannot offer a credit/non-credit (sometimes referred to as pass-fail) grading option at our institution. I carefully considered input from students, faculty members, deans, the Provost and colleagues at universities across Canada before deciding that making such a change would be untenable. Having different students or courses within the same program subject to different systems of grading would require software re-coding and manual entry into official university records—essentially, the redesign of existing information technology, academic processes and policies. Such complicated changes under time pressure, with COVID-19 and related demands already stretching our university systems, would risk damaging the very systems on which all of our students and faculty rely at this critical time of year.
There may be one exception to this ruling specifically for the Faculty of Law, which already has special grading arrangements whereby students’ final grades are 85% to 100% based on their performance in a single, final exam. I have empowered the faculty in Law to decide whether all courses this term will either all be under the current letter grading policy, or all changed uniformly to credit/non-credit grading.
Please talk to your instructors or your dean about the options that are available to you.
Provincial confirmation of protection for student financial aid
While we are working hard to expand one-time financial assistance options for students who may have been laid off from jobs or experiencing other financial pressures, we are encouraged by Student Aid BC’s assurance that students in receipt of student loan and grant funding won’t be disadvantaged due to interruptions in their studies caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that if you choose to withdraw from a TRU course, even after you see your final grades, this won’t impact your financial aid.
We are working with Student Awards and Financial Aid and the Office of Advancement to explore one-time financial assistance options for those students who may have been laid off from jobs and are experiencing financial pressures. I would be remiss not to acknowledge the generous allocation of $100,000 by the TRU Students’ Union for emergency student financial assistance.
Student services on call for you
I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the extensive support you can access through TRU Student Services, where specialists are available to help with everything from writing, studying, time management and learning effectively at a distance, to looking after your emotional, mental and physical health and well-being, to exploring special accommodations through Accessibility Services.
If you have any such concerns, I encourage you to reach out. Help is available. For Accessibility Services, email firstname.lastname@example.org to book appointments and ask questions. For Counselling Services, email email@example.com to book appointments and ask questions. You can also call 250-828-5023. Leave a voicemail and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
Update for graduating students
In compliance with current provincial health regulations, TRU is cancelling the Convocation and Commencement ceremonies that would normally take place in spring. That said, it is perhaps more important now than ever to recognize and celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of all our graduates.
We plan to do just that, as we always do—with passion and joy—but in a slightly different way this year. Every graduate will receive their parchment and a commemorative booklet featuring graduate names from every school and faculty, inspiring messages from valedictorians, Chancellor Nathan Matthew and myself as president, acknowledgements of the distinguished recipients of TRU honorary doctorates, and images and information befitting of this milestone. These will be sent in the mail. We are also exploring the possibility of creating a virtual space where graduates, family and friends as well as TRU faculty and leaders, can share congratulatory messages, photos, videos and well wishes. I’ll provide further details on whether and when this is happening in an upcoming communication to you.
But for now, I’d like to close with a reminder: please, through this period, stay in touch with your instructors. Contact them directly with any concerns you may have about course content, assignments or performance. They are as dedicated as ever to doing whatever they can to support your success.
I also encourage you to check our website — tru.ca/covid19 — often, as we continue to update it frequently. As well, please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions you may have. Please keep us aware of how things are going and whether new issues are coming up. Take care and be well—and remember: we may be physically distant, but we are all in this together.
President and Vice-Chancellor
COVID-19 update for March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020
Dear TRU community,
The past few days have brought more change as the impact of COVID-19 is felt in our communities. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff who have been putting in extra effort this week as TRU goes through a transition to greater learning and working at a distance. Our university remains open, albeit we are working in new ways.
The following represent updates of note for students, staff and faculty since our update of March 15.
Completion of the current winter term and other academic programming:
Monday, March 23rd will see the resumption of courses with students connecting with their instructors virtually. What this looks like will differ depending on the plan developed—some instructors may email students with course content, or post slides or lecture notes online, upload video content and/or use online learning platforms.
For students awaiting information from instructors, know they will be reaching out by Sunday, March 22 with specific plans on course completion, as well as how final assessments will be determined. Final exams will not be conducted in person.
As delivery of courses and programs have moved off campus and into virtual methods of delivery, so too have many of our services. Some of our staff are working remotely while others are at the university. TRU staff remain available to provide assistance, but in many cases, this will be done by phone or email. This is our way of doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 using social distancing measures.
As examples, the TRU Library is now supporting students and faculty fully online, and student counselling has moved to virtual appointments. Please check individual department webpages or call ahead to find out how service is offered. We will regularly update the status of services through the COVID-19 Campus Services page and ask for your patience as we determine how best to deliver services in the current environment.
Registration for future semesters:
Spring and summer courses
Registration for the spring and summer terms (May 4 to June 19 and June 22 to Aug. 7) is proceeding. TRU is pursuing alternate modes of program delivery for these sessions, away from face-to-face classroom instruction.
Applications are open for the fall term and student advisors are available to answer your questions. Please contact Future Students.
Note: face-to-face classroom instruction will remain suspended until health officials advise social distancing measures are no longer required.
Face-to-face instruction for all trades programs is suspended until June 26, 2020. The exception to this will be apprentices in certain programs who have nearly completed their programs. For these apprentices, small class sizes will commence as directed by their instructors starting March 23 for a period of three weeks, to allow students to complete practical aspects of their programs. Strict social distancing will be implemented and class sizes will be reduced. Students, please know your instructors and program areas will be contacting you directly.
Recognizing that OL students have different needs than campus-based students, we have now added FAQs specific to your concerns on the COVID-19 FAQ page. We encourage OL students to review this information and connect with OL directly if additional information is needed.
As we prepare for a new week ahead of us, I see examples every day of how our students, faculty, and staff are coping with the unfamiliar circumstances surrounding us. Please continue to be patient, kind, and respectful with one another, reflecting the values of our university community.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Transitioning away from face-to-face classes
March 15, 2020
Dear students, faculty and staff,
The events of the past weeks have been challenging as we all adjust to the realities of COVID-19 and its impact on our communities. Many of our TRU family have expressed concern about the current situation, and as a university, we have actively been monitoring and making decisions based on evidence-based information, including the expert guidance provided by the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. Of primary importance is the safety and well-being of our university community.
In alignment with other public Post-Secondary Institutions across the province, TRU has decided to move away from face-to-face classroom instruction and transition to alternative methods of instruction. As a result, please be advised of the following:
- Effective Monday, March 16, TRU is temporarily suspending all face-to-face classes, meaning there will be no classes in session. This includes lectures, seminars, labs, studios, field school and field trips at our Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses, and our regional centres.
- For students, the week of March 16th will be a study and catch-up week; for faculty, it will provide needed time to make arrangements for virtual or alternate forms of delivery of their courses, including final exams. Students, your instructors will connect with you directly as arrangements are made, so we ask for your patience during this time of change.
- The week commencing Monday, March 23, courses will resume for most programs in alternate formats. For trades, given the extensive shop time required for learning, more discussions are required. Students will be informed as soon as possible on how these programs will resume.
- Internships, placements and practica are not affected at this time and will continue as normally scheduled
- TRU Open learning is still operating with registration open for courses. However, some face-to-face labs may be affected and students will be notified directly.
While TRU is moving away from face-to-face classes for the time being, our campuses and regional centres remain open. Services such as libraries, student supports, administrative offices, and study areas will be open. However, there may be some modification to hours, or how service is delivered to support the health and wellbeing of all members of our university community.
These are unprecedented times at TRU, and for our society. The measures above are our way of helping to contain the spread of the coronavirus, while at the same time, supporting students in their continued studies.
Looking ahead, TRU is planning for how courses will be delivered in our spring and summer semesters in light of our current reality. I encourage you to visit the university’s website tru.ca/covid19, where we will post regular updates, including answers to your frequently asked questions.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Responses to travel and gathering advisory
March 13, 2020
Dear students, faculty and staff:
Yesterday afternoon, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided an update on COVID-19, which requires immediate action on the part of all British Columbians.
These actions include:
- Avoiding all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the U.S.
- Limiting large gatherings to no more than 250 people
As a result, TRU is suspending all non-essential university-sponsored travel outside of Canada. This includes activities such as attendance at conferences, meetings or participation in field schools. For individuals who do choose to travel, Dr. Henry is advising individuals not return to work or school for 14 days upon return to the province to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
TRU will either be cancelling or postponing larger events. Imminently affected are Spring Open House and Long Night Against Procrastination. Prior to Dr. Henry’s update, TRU had already postponed two of our biggest IDays events (today’s Showcase and Saturday’s Wrap Party) using federal guidelines for large gatherings in making this decision.
We are currently assessing the impact of the province’s direction on large gatherings as it relates to class size. Dr. Henry’s message included the following statement:
“Some post-secondary institutions have classes with more than 250 students, and we are working with them to take measures to address this situation.”
We are hopeful this will be minimal as the majority of classes at TRU have fewer than 250 students. The Registrar is working through this and any alternative arrangements, including how we run our final exams. This will be communicated to you as soon as possible. On questions about whether classes will continue to the end of the term, TRU is following the guidance of our top health officials on such matters and Dr. Henry has not indicated a need to close schools at this time.
Recognizing, however, that the situation around COVID-19 is rapidly changing, we are actively monitoring the situation. This includes conversations with our regional health authority, with the Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training, and with leaders of other universities.
We will continue to provide updates to our university community, and encourage you to visit www.tru.ca/covid19 regularly for information.
I appreciate the global pandemic we find ourselves facing is troubling. We are anxious, worried for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities. I remind myself what health officials are telling us—this will take an “all-of-society” approach to combat. With that in mind, think about what each of us can do to safeguard the health of one another as we come to school, go to work and meet with friends and family. Continue to practice good hand hygiene, proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, forego the handshake, stay home when ill, and above all, care for each other.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Postponement of two IDays events
March 12, 2020
In light of the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, TRU has made the decision to postpone two upcoming IDays events. This decision is out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our campus community.
The IDays 2020 Showcase scheduled for Friday, March 13 at 3 p.m., as well as the IDays 2020 Wrap Party scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at 5 p.m., have been postponed to future dates to be determined.
TRU will continue to refer to the federal government guidelines for mass gatherings to inform decisions on events hosted on campus.
Dear students, staff and faculty:
March 11, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to affect more countries and places closer to home, and with today’s World Health Organization announcement of a pandemic, I know, for many individuals, our personal level of concern is growing.
As health officials continue to stress, there are steps we can take to minimize the impact of this virus, the most basic of which is washing our hands regularly.
In addition, as a university we are taking action. Through our pandemic planning committee, we are monitoring daily the impact of COVID-19 globally, and with a particular focus on BC. We are in regular contact with the provincial emergency planning group, Interior Health, and other universities, both in Canada and partner universities overseas recognizing TRU’s international reach. We are monitoring activities in the university sector, addressing TRU-specific questions and issues as they arise, and are proactively planning should COVID-19 affect our local community.
Through all of this, we have looked to the latest direction provided by health agencies, namely the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Our efforts to date have included a focus on prevention to minimize the risk to students, staff, and faculty on our campuses. We have increased cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces in high-traffic areas, added more hand sanitizer stations across campus, posted more hand hygiene reminders, and provided guidance on travel. Most recently, with yesterday’s announcement of federal guidelines for large gatherings, we are turning our attention to upcoming events such as Open House and iDays to consider what additional safety measures we can put in place.
I assure you that TRU will post more information as relevant new guidance becomes available. The most up-to-date information specific to our university will always be available on our website. TRU has posted “frequently asked questions” to address some of the questions you may have and additional information will be added as the situation evolves. The direct link is www. tru.ca/covid19.
Many of our staff have been working for weeks to ensure TRU is well-prepared. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have been working hard since the middle of January to implement preventative measures on campus, to respond as questions arise, and to plan ahead.
This is an unprecedented situation affecting us all. How we respond in the days ahead and weeks ahead, both individually and as a university community, will be important as health officials have stressed the important role we all play in minimizing the impact of this virus.
President and Vice-Chancellor
An update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Feb. 25, 2020
The Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control have provided information to post-secondary institutions across the province regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The information includes recommendations for students, faculty and staff.
Health advisory: Coronavirus
Jan. 30, 2020
Thompson Rivers University is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, and is following the lead of public health officials. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the BC Centre for Disease Control have assessed the current risk for Canadians as low.
An advisory team from key campus areas is meeting regularly to assess and prepare for any possible impacts at TRU and for students, staff or faculty travelling internationally.
Current precautions for coronavirus are the same as for influenza (the flu) and other common respiratory infections.