Update on COVID-19 response - March 16

Mar 16th, 2020

Memorial University

Update on COVID-19 response - March 16

This is a lengthy update: please read to the end.

Information for students

The Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUgS) and the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies have approved two motions that now allow students to:

  • drop courses without academic prejudice until the last day of lectures in the winter semester 2020, and; 
  • not be required to submit documentation for illnesses of less than 14 days in duration. This is in an effort to work through some of the impacts that may affect students at this point in the semester. 

Final exams

While a decision on exactly how final exams will be administered has not yet been made, students are advised that exams will not be held in person on campuses this semester.

Questions about courses

If students have questions about how their courses will transition to remote learning, please first reach out to your instructor. If you have questions after that, contact your department head or dean. For academic regulation inquiries, including exam schedules, send inquiries to registrar@mun.ca.

Updated directive for students living in residence

In light of the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic, all students who reside on the island of Newfoundland are required to vacate student residences by end of day, Friday, March 20. Similarly, students living in Labrador and elsewhere in Canada are required to make every effort to adjust travel plans to return home.

We understand that there are exceptional circumstances or academic requirements that may impact travel arrangements for some students. We will evaluate those on a case-by-case basis as long as there is supporting documentation accompanying the request.

Fundamentally, these decisions and directives are focused on supporting and assisting students from off the island who will not be able to travel or return to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the current challenges, particularly with international travel at this time.

While a decision on exactly how final exams will be administered has not yet been made, students are advised that exams will not be held in person on campuses this semester.

In order to facilitate quick departures, on the St. John’s campus, there is temporary storage space arranged for mini fridges and larger appliances only in the building in which you reside. Please ensure that these items are unplugged, thawed out and labelled with your name. Contact your residence assistant to gain access to these secure spaces. Further questions may be directed to housing@mun.ca.

New Student Information Hotline

Students with questions about the current COVID-19 pandemic can now access answers through a student information hotline, through email, or live chat operated by Student Life. Call (709) 864-6100 or email ask@mun.ca from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily from March 17-20. The email for inquiries for Grenfell students is studentservices@grenfell.mun.ca. Questions for Marine Institute students can be directed to recruitment@mi.mun.ca.

This line is not monitored from 8 p.m.-9 a.m. You can access information immediately online at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/.

If you have urgent mental health concerns you should avail of the following community-based services:

  • 24-hour mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668(local) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide). 
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1-888-737-4668 St. John’s Region. 
  • 24-hour Walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: (709) 777-3021 or (709) 777-3022.

Internationalization Office

The Internationalization Office is open to answer your questions. You may visit the St. John’s office in person in the Global Learning Centre (CA-2004), call (709) 864-8895 or email international@mun.ca.

Campus-specific information

If you are a student at Marine Institute or Grenfell Campus, please visit your campus webpage where additional campus-specific information will be updated as it is available.

Reminder: the FAQ will be updated as often as possible at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/faqs/.

Emergency contact information

All students should ensure their emergency contact information in Memorial Self-Service is up-to-date. This is accessible through my.mun.ca.

Information for instructors


The Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) is ready to assist instructors with transitioning face-to-face courses to remote delivery, as well as provide consultations for alternative assessment strategies. CITL’s Instructional Continuity webpage is being updated regularly with resources and information about services and support available to instructors to make this transition.

For instructors that are looking for one-on-one support, CITL has established a Remote Instruction Transition Team (RITT), available in-person and remotely. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, at 12:30 p.m., instructors can access the team by visiting ED-1001 or online chat through the CITL Instructional Continuity webpage. Upon opening, hours of operation for the RITT during the week of March 17 will be: Tuesday, 12:30-4 p.m., and Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Additionally, as part of its regular operations, CITL’s Support Centre is available to provide assistance to students and instructors during extended hours, including evenings and weekends.

From Memorial Libraries

The Libraries would like to remind Memorial’s faculty and course instructors that they can distribute course materials through the Libraries’ online Course Resources (Reserves) System. If you chose to use Brightspace, this resource is linked directly to your course site. Simply send the library the items you wish to add to your reading list and we do the rest, like digitizing, purchasing items and copyright clearance. The Libraries also recommend Faculty and Course Instructors remind their students that research support is available through its online chat service.

Information for all Memorial community members

Childcare centre

As a result of today’s announcement by the provincial government regarding the closure of all schools and childcare centres, please be advised that the Campus Childcare centre will close effective today, March 16, 2020, until further notice. Staff will be at the centre tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in order for families to pick-up any personal belongings. We will provide updates as they are available.

Emergency contact information

Faculty, staff and students, please update emergency contact information in Memorial Self-Service, which is accessible through my.mun.ca.

Remote work and social distancing

Memorial is encouraging remote work with the understanding that university priorities are the health and safety of students, faculty and staff; maintaining the academic integrity of the semester; and critical university operations.

To allow for social distancing and to help employees manage the current demands, employees are asked to work with their supervisor to facilitate remote work arrangements where operationally feasible. Unless you currently have arrangements with your supervisor, report to work as scheduled. We expect this will take time to arrange as this situation continues to evolve and encourage patience, flexibility and understanding.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer is working with campus IT units to plan the implementation of additional IT infrastructure to support the shift to remote work where that support is required.

For employees who are required to come to campus to maintain critical operations, you should report to your normal place of work unless otherwise instructed and practice social distancing, handwashing and other public health prevention methods. Memorial has also enacted enhanced cleaning procedures.

Please work with your supervisor to establish your individual arrangements. We recognize in some situations standard work hours, work arrangements and assignments may be altered. Please consider that not all work requires remote technology. If it works best for your situation, you may also consider taking leave if this aligns with your unit’s business continuity plan and operational requirements.

As employees move to alternate work arrangements, Memorial’s privacy expectations of the university community are to be adhered to while working remotely, as per the university’s Privacy policy and Procedure for Administering Privacy Measures Within a Unit.

Due to the volume of employees transitioning off campus and safety considerations, it will not be possible for Memorial staff to facilitate moving equipment to or servicing it at an employee’s remote work location. Where possible remote assistance will be utilized.

We also want to acknowledge that you may feel separated or even isolated when working remotely, without in-person interactions with colleagues. We encourage you to explore creative ways to address these barriers within your unit. You are also reminded of resources available through Memorial’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP).

This situation is constantly evolving and we will inform you of any significant updates as we move to remote work. Please visit www.mun.ca/covid19 for more information.