Universities across Canada have chosen to delay the start of their winter term, for the benefit of students, faculty, and the university community as a whole. However, UNBC has chosen not to take this action, despite support from both faculty and students. Dr. Payne cites "disruption" as one of the primary reasons that the University will not make this change. This concern misrepresents the needs of the community.
Delaying the start of the semester eases the burden on students, faculty, staff, and their families. Over the past four months, we have had to drastically change the way we teach, learn, and work. Extra time to re-evaluate and plan is invaluable. As students, we are experiencing increased stress, anxiety, and fatigue caused by working remotely and in isolation. This will give staff a chance to prepare their courses, while ensuring that students are given a chance to rebuild their wellness and mental health.
As a reminder, UNBC opened winter semester registration approximately 7 months late. Given this timeline, it is only fair that we delay the start of the winter semester by a few days.
In the unprecedented times of COVID-19, our response must also be unprecedented. The past ten months have proven that we can be resilient and adaptable, and we can continue to be resilient, if we are given the tools to succeed.