The strangest semester in the history of our university has officially begun
Along with the rest of the world, Concordia and its students are adjusting to a crushing new reality. To date, over 27 million people have been infected with COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has claimed nearly 6,000 lives in Quebec alone, and while the death rate has slowed, the number of losses continues to climb. Marked by insecurity, inequality, and inexhaustible anxiety, the past months have been a challenge, to say the least.
Despite this, we’ve somehow managed to stumble our way through half a year of this mess. We’re adapting, a little clumsily at times, but enough to continue our studies in the midst of a global meltdown. All things considered, it’s pretty impressive.
For most of us, adaptation will take the form of Zoom classes in our pyjama bottoms and study dates in the park. Some obstacles, however, will be more difficult to tackle: in the wake of such colossal uncertainty, countless students are faced with a lack of funds, a lack of accessibility, and a decline in their mental wellbeing. Demanding support from the institutions that vow to support us is crucial, and this includes our university.
This year at The Concordian, we aim to connect students with the resources they need; to hold our university and other institutions accountable for the promises they make; and to tell the stories of students, faculty, staff, and everyone in between as they navigate these treacherous times. If you’re someone with a tale to tell, or maybe you’re interested in amplifying the voices of others, we strongly encourage you to pitch us your ideas. Our digital door is always open.
As much as we hypothesize about the months to come, it’s hard to say exactly what the fall semester of 2020 is going to be like. One thing is for certain: it won’t be one to forget.
- Homeroom – A weekly virtual homeroom where students can make friends and learn must-know information about starting university. Registration is required and participants will receive perks based on attendance.
- Centre for Teaching and Learning – Get help navigating online learning, Moodle, assignment submission, and setting up your phone and laptop.
- Student Success Centre (SSC) – Get help from a learning specialist and one-on-one tutoring.
- Support for mental and physical health – Find support for your mental and physical well being, as well as academic and financial support.
- Financial Aid and Awards Office – In-depth advice on planning finances and discovering bursaries and loans.
- Concordia Emergency Student Relief Fund – Concordia has allocated over $1 million to support students’ economic hardships.
- Student groups – Connect with over 200 student groups and see what they’re up to during the online semester.
- Library services – While the physical library is closed, the librarians are working hard to support students online. Students can request textbooks to be put online. The Library is hoping to open limited study spaces by Sept. 14.
- Stay updated – Keep informed about what Concordia is offering and any changing regulations.
A statement from President Graham Carr:
“Being a Concordian means being part of a community. This fall, as we start an academic year unlike any we’ve seen before, we’re looking forward to you joining this great community. Whether you’re a new student or a returning one, we’re here to support you and help you succeed in your studies. Please take advantage of the many services we have in place to assist you. Let’s continue being bold, being innovative and creating the kind of community that makes me proud to be a Concordian.”
Feature photo by Alex Hutchins