SHHS requests that residence dwellers move out
According to an email co-signed by the Senior Director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) Marisa Albanse and Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Fabrice Labeau, practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis in large student residences is difficult due to the nature of co-living. As a result, students residing in McGill housing have been asked to return home in a March 18 email. While usually students commit to paying rent for the duration of their leases, Frédérique Mazerolle, Media Relations Officer for McGill University, said that the SHHS will not penalise students for moving out early.
“Students who move out of residence will have their lease cancelled effective their departure date,” Mazerolle wrote in an email to the McGill Tribune. “Rent will not be charged from the day students move out.”
In a subsequent email, SHHS cancelled all gatherings and parties in residences. Further, guests have been banned in all residences, and all athletic centres in residence halls have been closed per provincial directive.
The letter acknowledged that international students living in residence may be unable to return home, given new travel restrictions from various national governments. Students that are not moving out are asked to continue practising social distancing; students who believe they have been exposed to SARS-COV-2 are asked to report themselves to their residence director so that they can be provided accommodations such as food during self-isolation.
All in-person exams cancelled; no term extension
McGill has announced in a Facebook post that no exams will take place in person for the Winter 2020 semester. As well, the academic term will not be extended: Classes will end on April 14, and the exam period will end on April 30, both as scheduled.
“The alternative assessment plan will be communicated before the end of March,” the post read.
US border closed, international travel banned
In a joint agreement between Canada and the US, people will no longer be able to cross the border for non-essential travel, such as tourism or business. Canadian citizens will still be allowed to return home. These restrictions will not apply to international students, workers on visas, and those who must cross the border to do essential work and maintain supply chains.
Starting March 18, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident will be barred from entering the country. Exceptions apply for diplomats and aircrews. Anyone with flu-like symptoms, regardless of citizenship, will not be allowed to board a plane to Canada.