Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Keeping You Informed: A message from StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley - May 29

May 29th, 2020

Dear Incoming and Returning Students,

Yesterday, was an important and celebratory day for our university community as we conferred our StFX degrees and diplomas on the Class of 2020. On behalf of the StFX community, I extend my sincere congratulations to all graduates, their family members and friends, as well as the faculty and staff who helped guide and support them along the way.

A StFX education is unique. Our students are expected to achieve academically as well as to make meaningful contributions to our communities. To the StFX Class of 2020, I know that you will continue to make us proud. You have achieved academically. Now, it’s time, as a Xaverian, to go forward to serve your communities. It’s time to mobilize what you have learned and make a positive difference in the world.

I appreciate that being unable to gather with family, friends, and loved ones is not the way any of us envisioned a Convocation or high school graduation celebration. This year, COVID-19 has stripped us of the ability to celebrate in  traditional ways. It is disappointing and hard to accept at times. Still, it is important to mark your tremendous achievement. I also encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the support you receive from those around you, including the StFX community. Whether you are a new member of our alumni, or about to begin your first class in September, never forget that you are a member of the Xaverian family -- the strongest network in the country – and that this community will forever be among your biggest supporters.

Academic Delivery: In-person or Online?

I realize that this is the most pressing question from our students, faculty, and staff. We have been very deliberate in considering this decision. We must make a responsible, informed decision about our approach to educational delivery and the opening of our campus to students. The health and safety of the entire community comes first.  

As the provincial economy slowly reopens under strict guidelines, we see parallels with our campus activities and have begun preparing plans regarding the reopening of the StFX campus. Once ready, we will present these plans to the Ministry of Labour and Advanced Education’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety and to Nova Scotia’s Public Health Authority for review. It is only with plan approval that we would make the decision to welcome students, faculty, and staff safely back to campus in September. This includes being prepared for the potential of future cases of COVID-19 within our community.

We will make the decision about in-person or online delivery by mid-June. This provides us with the time necessary to continue our conversations with the province while still permitting the campus community ample time to continue preparations for the September term once the decision is announced. In the meantime, I thank you for your patience and your understanding.

Registration Dates for Incoming and Returning Students

With the efforts noted above in mind, we have made the decision to reschedule our registration dates to ensure students are fully informed and are able to plan and prepare for classes to begin in September. As we get closer to Registration opening, we will send reminders to students; however, I encourage you to take note of these dates.  

Returning Students:

Registration start times for returning students: will be released on Thursday, July 9th

The Course Timetable: will be posted Thursday, July 9th

Registration opens for returning students: Monday, July 13th

Registration opens for MEd, DNURS, MASc and PBD students: Wednesday, July 22nd

Incoming/New Students:

The Course Timetable: will be posted Thursday, July 9th

Registration times for new students: will be available on Friday, July 24th (and posted within Self-Serve Banner). 

Registration opens for new students: Tuesday, July 28th

We will be prepared – expect the highest quality of academic experience

It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios of course delivery and day-to-day life on campus. Should students be allowed on campus, the StFX experience will be delivered under very specific and strict conditions following health and safety protocols. In the event we are unable to invite students back to campus in the fall, please know our Online Preparedness Task Force has invested much time and energy in the support of faculty so we will be able to deliver our courses in a form that replicates, to the extent possible, the traditional StFX classroom experience. There is also ongoing work related to transposing the ‘outside the classroom’ experience that happens here. Whether in-person or online, we will be ready to deliver a high-quality StFX experience.

I look forward to providing you with updates in the days ahead.


Kevin B. Wamsley, PhD

President & Vice-Chancellor

StFX University

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