COVID-19 Information Updates

Brescia University College realizes the importance of keeping our community updated on the latest information regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts on our campus. To keep you informed, this page contains links and updates that are relevant for our community.

For official details on COVID- 19 and the local area please refer to the The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).
Western University continues to update information applicable to the broader university campus community.

At Brescia, our community’s safety and well-being is our priority. We encourage you to continue to keep yourself and others healthy by following these helpful tips.

For tips on working at home successfully, please see Brescia’s Tips for Working at Home

April 3, 2020: Letter from the Rt Hon. David Johnston to Dr. Susan Mumm


Latest Update

Updated – April 6, 2020
4:40 p.m.

The last few weeks has been a time of adjustment as we adapt and respond to the changing needs of our campus community. The realities of COVID-19 are affecting all of us, in ways we may not have fully realized.

We know that many of our students will be facing significant financial and emotional burdens. Some students are already struggling to purchase food, pay rent and find summer employment opportunities.  We are concerned that our students are faced with difficult choices such as staying in school or managing the cost to live. Students living on campus may not have the financial means to return home to the warmth and security of their family home.

In 2007, Brescia faculty and staff established the “Blue Jean Fund” to support the community in times of crisis. This fund has always been available to students in times of need. Given the current situation and the anticipated needs of our students, Brescia has expanded this initiative and renamed it the Brescia Emergency Fund. Now, we are asking you to consider supporting our students in their current crisis.

If you are able, please give to the Brescia Emergency Fund. In a time of unprecedented change, Brescia’s sense of community is more important now than ever before. The generosity and kindness of our community will help us get through this together.

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil

Updated – April 3, 2020
2:40 p.m.

As we continue to respond to the changing conditions of our campus community and our broader situation, Brescia remains determined to maintain our mission and our place as Canada’s women’s university.  Though we may feel distanced from each other, I am proud of our perseverance and willingness to adapt and support each other.

Though campus may seem quiet, there is a small but mighty team still working hard in our physical spaces. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our staff who are working on campus, Brescia’s “front-line workers”, who are devoted to ensuring our students living on campus are being cared for. To our food services team, facilities, residence staff, and all essential student-facing services—we appreciate your efforts and thank you.

There is an abundance of important work being completed remotely and initiatives continue to be advanced by our staff and faculty. For example, a new initiative being coordinated by the Advancement team is a reworked Brescia Emergency Fund, formerly the “Blue Jean Fund” as we know many of our students will be facing significant financial burdens in the weeks ahead. More information will be shared with you next week, if you wish to support this important initiative.

For over 100 years, our Ursuline values have guided the Brescia community. Our resilience strengthens our community and leads us forward.

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil

Updated – March 26, 2020
6:00 p.m.

Brescia has received notification that June convocation has been postponed. In alignment with Western’s decision, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming Baccalaureate and Magisterial ceremonies. Graduating students have received official communication.

We understand this is disappointing for our community, especially for our graduating class and their families. We recognize the importance of Baccalaureate and its time-honoured tradition as part of our students’ university experience. At this time, facing uncertainty, we must make decisions that ensure the health and safety of our students, their families and our community.

Please be assured this will not affect the timing of your graduation or the conferral of degrees for graduating students. We know how hard our students have worked; Brescia will mark this special occasion occasion in an alternate format this year. Plans are already being developed and we will continue to update the community as details are finalized.

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil

Updated – March 24, 2020

The Ontario government announced yesterday that all businesses and organizations move to an “essential services” model as of 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020. Essential services at Brescia include those services necessary to enable the University to:

  • Ensure the safety of our students, staff and faculty
  • Maintain our residence community as a healthy living space for our students who are unable to return to their home communities
  • Maintain our facilities and preserve our critical infrastructure
  • Continue the delivery of administrative support functions in order to maintain Brescia’s core operations (mail, courier and deliveries will continue to be accepted)

Brescia’s academic programming and student support services have now moved entirely online, where we continue to support our students through the rest of their academic term and into the summer.  We appreciate the patience and adaptability of our community as we respond to this ever-changing situation.

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil

Updated – March 20, 2020

We know these are extraordinary times. I want to thank each of you for your flexibility and patience over the last week as we have worked to modify our services to best support your living and learning experience at Brescia.

At Brescia, we know each of you rely on us to prioritize your safety and well-being whether you are here on campus, or in your home communities. At this moment in time, facing uncertainty and world-changing dynamics, I hope you put faith in the strong, student-centred support system that Brescia offers.

As we move to a modified services model, Brescia is upheld by the strength of our community and our commitment to adapt and respond to what is needed for you to be successful. We are carefully balancing our commitment to providing the best experience for all of our students at the same time as maintaining a safe and healthy campus environment. I applaud Brescia’s staff and faculty for their resourcefulness and thoughtful dedication to meeting the many challenges that have arisen unexpectedly over the last week.

Navigating and modifying our services across Brescia is similar to driving through a heavy fog; we can only dimly see what is more than a moment away—our decisions and reactions will need to change with every turn in the road. We will make the best decisions we can, ensuring we continue to support you, our students, while living Brescia’s mission in our suddenly-changed environment.

This isn’t the first time Brescia has faced significant challenges in our history. After 100 years of leading through our Ursuline values of wisdom, justice and compassion, our community will continue to display empathy, kindness and collaboration to adapt together and make decisions that ensure the health, safety and well-being of all, so that our collective dedication to the education of our students and future women leaders will endure.

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil

 

Updated – March 17, 2020
11:00 a.m.

The health, safety and well-being of the Brescia community is our first priority. Today, based on recent information provided by the Middlesex-London Health Unit and our federal and provincial governments, Brescia will shift to a modified services model effective Wednesday, March 18th at 5:00 p.m. This will allow sufficient time for members of our community to prepare and adjust our services as needed.

I understand that this can be a stressful and uncertain time for all members of our community. I can assure you that Brescia will continue to support our students, faculty and staff through this challenge.

The last few days have given rise to many questions and concerns about the continuing operation of the Brescia on-campus community.  COVID-19 is spreading around the world at a rapid pace and we are working to make the right decisions to protect our community while remaining true to our identity as a university. We have determined that effective 5:00 p.m. March 18th and until further notice, we will move to a modified services model for Brescia’s on-campus services.

To provide you with additional information on what “modified services” means, please note the following adjustments to services:

Residence, will remain open. Where possible, students are encouraged to consider moving home if travel and logistics support this. All residence students will receive a refund schedule to support this decision. Details will be sent in a separate email.

Food Services, including the Mercato, will remain open for those students who continue to live on our campus.

Virtual support services for our students, faculty and staff will be available online and we encourage our students to take advantage of this, including:

  • academic advising and career appointments
  • case management support
  • library and research consultations
  • Brescia’s Writing Centre
  • faculty office hours

The Hive will close to in-person consultation, but can be reached via phone (519-858-5151) or email (brescia@uwo.ca), Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

The Beryl Ivey Library will align with Western Library closures; effective 5:00 p.m. today (March 17th) will close to in-person service. Our library team is working to move support services online, please consult their website for updates.

Our dedicated staff and faculty are working tirelessly to provide continuity of all programming and technical support as we transition to an online format. Brescia’s working group continues to think of new ways to engage and support each of our students through the final weeks of their academic term.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, I encourage you to visit Brescia’s COVID-19 website for the most current information on matters related to Brescia’s operations.

I appreciate the compassion, flexibility and resiliency that the Brescia community displays on a daily basis and I am grateful for your shared commitment to supporting the health and well-being of those around us. Our community is strengthened through these extraordinary times; in the words of St. Angela Merici, “if you all stand united in heart, you will be strong in adversities.”

Sincerely,
Susan Mumm, DPhil