Fall registration date moved back to allow for additional planning
The University of Lethbridge is continuing its work with students, Faculties and campus units to finalize details on what a significantly expanded personal experience will look like in Fall 2021. Included among the many options being explored by the committees is a full reopening of its Lethbridge campus.
With the news that all adult Albertans will have the opportunity to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine shot by the end of June 2021, and with additional vaccines being approved for use in Canada, the prospect of having a full return to campus, in a way that protects the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, is becoming more of a reality.
“The University is known for an unrivaled student experience and this transition back to a more in-person model will be done in a safe and responsible manner that will greatly benefit our students and the community as a whole,” says Mike Mahon, president and vice-chancellor. “Regardless of whether we are able to fully reopen or not, we are planning to have many more in-person experiences for our students this fall. For that reason, we are encouraging our students to make plans to be in Lethbridge for September 2021.”
The University has made some key decisions that will allow for an increased number of students on campus. Residences are expected to accommodate at least 700 students in the fall — a substantial increase from the 285 units occupied this past year — and residence applications are currently being accepted through the Housing Services Application Portal.
Campus facilities are also starting to reopen. Consistent with the Government of Alberta’s decision to move to stage two of its reopening strategy, the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness reopened its doors on March 8 to students as well as the general public for low-intensity exercise. The Ascent Climbing Centre has also reopened for use.
The ever-popular New Student Orientation (NSO) is expected to see an infusion of energy this fall with in-person events being created to complement online activities. The success of last year’s online NSO will see a blend of virtual and in-person programs, thanks to positive feedback from students who took part in Fall 2020.
Prospective students looking to achieve their academic goals at the U of L can again visit the Lethbridge campus as in-person campus tours are being re-launched immediately.
The University is also pushing back the start of its Fall 2021 registration cycle by seven weeks as it ramps up planning for this significant expansion of in-person experiences. By moving the start of registration to May 4, 2021, students will have the complete course information they need to map out their plans for the fall semester.
“Beginning our registration in May will allow us time to fully prepare for a broader campus experience and also allow us to better gauge the progress being made in vaccinating Albertans and the state of the Alberta government’s reopening strategy,” says Mahon. “Moving activities back to a face-to-face model is a significant undertaking and the exceptional work being done by our dedicated faculty and staff is undertaken with great care to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.”
Decisions with regards to the University’s Calgary campus, located at Bow Valley College (BVC), are contingent on BVC directives. Regardless, the University is working to increase in-person experiences for students at both its Lethbridge and Calgary campuses.
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Trevor Kenney, News & Information Manager