Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
St. Francis Xavier University

Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Response

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Updated: as of 4:10 PM, Tuesday May 12th, 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

INTRODUCING ANOTHER WAY TO REACH OUT WITH QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS:

We have a new email box for the campus community to use should they have questions/concerns that are not covered within our FAQs. This is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns related to COVID-19: Comments&Questions@stfx.ca 

The mailbox is monitored Mon – Fri, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

 

Spring Convocation 2020

The list of graduates for Spring 2020 will be posted May 25th, and degrees will be conferred on May 28th. Please log into mesAMIS and update your mailing address by May 20th. After this date, the parchments are sent to the address we have on file.

We will hold a Spring Convocation ceremony on the weekend of May 7-9, 2021 to give the graduating class of 2020 to walk across the stage.

For more information, please see this message from Dr. Kevin Wamsley.

 

PASS/FAIL GRADING OPTION

For more information on the Pass/Fail grading option, please see our Pass/Fail FAQ.

 

Prospective Students - Residence

+ What happens if I have applied for residence 2020-21, but my program/course is no longer offered in person due to COVID-19 precautions?

University Housing will provide additional information regarding your residence application should courses be offered online and not on campus for a portion of the 2020-21 year. Please note that StFX is following all Public Health guidelines with regard to in-person meetings and gatherings, and will make decisions in this regard in accordance with the direction of health officials. Our intention at this point is to offer courses on-campus should we be allowed to do so.

+ Will I receive my $400 deposit back if residence does not open as scheduled?

Your deposit remains valid, and will stay in full within your account until residence reopens.

+ If classes begin online in September, will the residence and meal plan fees be adjusted to reflect moving into residence later?

At this point we have no information regarding fee structures should residence not open as scheduled in September. Should this arise, the StFX Board of Governors will review these fees, and we will share a decision with you as soon as possible.

+  If I am unable to attend the StFX fall term due to COVID-19 precautions, can I defer my residence offer?

Residence offers may be deferred for up to one year.

+ Will I lose my residence assignment if campus does not open as scheduled in September?

All residence assignments will remain the same for the upcoming school year, even if there is a delayed opening.

+ What personal protective equipment will be required if living on campus? Will the University assist with providing any PPE?

StFX treats the health, safety and wellbeing of our students as our top priority. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have complied with all Public Health guidelines and you can rest assured that we will continue to do so, including any future guidelines related to PPW.

+ How does social distancing work if I’m sharing a room in residence?

StFX treats the health, safety and wellbeing of our students as our top priority. Should social distancing guidelines require accommodations to our room arrangements, we will make adjustments as necessary. Please rest assured we have been following, and will continue to follow, all follow Public Health guidelines and protocols.

+ What will be the new cleaning protocols for residence, common areas and washrooms?

In consultation with Public Health, StFX has implemented strict guidelines and protocols that include increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures for all campus areas. Your health, safety, and wellbeing is our top priority!

+ I am an International student, can I stay/remain on campus if classes are scheduled to be only online in September?

International students can remain on campus in their current living arrangements. Appropriate fees will be applied directly to the student’s financial services account.

+ I have nowhere to go, can I stay on campus if only online courses are offered starting in September?

StFX campus is currently closed to the public. Please contact stay@stfx.ca regarding accommodation inquiries.

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Academic Penalties

+ I am currently on probation. Will I be on probation next year with the same stipulations?

No. All students will start the 2020-21 academic year in good standing. We will actively reach out to all students who would have been at risk of being placed on probation for the academic year to help you understand why you struggled to achieve your academic milestones and to offer strategies and supports to be successful.

+ I have tried very hard to meet all of the requirements of my probation and believe I should now be removed from probation. Will that happen?

You will return to good standing in the 2020-21 academic year. Please note that the resources (academic advising, student success centre) that helped you accomplish this important academic milestone are still available to you next year so that you continue on this trajectory of success.

+ I have been placed on academic probation as a consequence of breaching the Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures, will that still be applied?

In cases where a student has incurred the academic penalty of probation based on the violation of academic integrity policies, the penalty shall remain in force as stipulated in the decision letter by the Senate Committee on Academic Discipline

+ I am in the BEd program and have been placed on probation or suspended in the winter semester on the basis of unprofessional behaviour or failure of field experiences, will that still be applied?

In cases where a student has incurred the academic penalty of probation or suspension based on failure of field experience or for other professional reasons during the fall term, the penalty shall remain in force as stipulated in the decision letter.

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FINANCIAL MATTERS

+ Will I receive a credit for my residence room and meal plan?

A credit for the unused value of a student’s meal plan and/or residence room will be issued to each student’s StFX Student Account. Credits have been calculated and pro-rated based upon each student’s particular style of room, with a standard credit for all meal plans. The amount credited to each student will depend on their particular residence and whether or not they had a meal plan.

Please note that this is not a cash refund; it is a credit issued to each student’s StFX account. The credits range from $775 to $975 per student. The various credit amounts can be found below:

Residence/Meal Plan Rebate
O'Regan/Riley

Single: $975

Double: $950

Governors

Single with No Meal Plan: $575

Single with Meal Plan: $975

Double with No Meal Plan: $550

Double with Meal Plan: $950

Apartments

No Meal Plan: $500

With Meal Plan: $900

Bishops

Single: $875

Double: $800

MacKinnon/Cameron/MacIssac/MSB

Single: $850

Double: $775

+ What will happen to my credit if I’m graduating this year?

For graduating students only: if your student account is fully paid-off and a credit remains, you may contact the Student Accounts Office to receive a refund: aservice@stfx.ca

+ Will I receive a credit for my DCB balance?

In cases where students purchased Declining Credit Balance accounts separate and apart from their meal plans, any remaining balance in excess of $12 will be credited to the student’s StFX Student Account. For any questions, please contact the Student Accounts Office: aservice@stfx.ca

+ Is the university offering any financial aid to students?

StFX and the StFX Students’ Union have established emergency relief funds for students facing financial difficulties related to COVID-19. For more information, including how to apply, visit The StFX Emergency Relief Fund and The U’s Emergency Grant Program.

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Spring and Summer Classes

+ Undergraduate Courses

On-campus courses - The following on-campus or off-campus site-based (face-to-face) Spring Session courses have been cancelled:

  • BIOL 307 (May)
  • HKIN 265 (April – May)
  • HKIN 321 (April – May)

Online Courses- At this time, online undergraduate courses for Spring session will continue, unless otherwise indicated (as per minimum enrolment requirements).

The following online courses (with on-campus labs) have been cancelled:

  • CHEM 101 (April – June) (Spring session)
  • CHEM 102 (June – August) (Summer session)

Please contact continuinged@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Distance Nursing Courses (Post RN)

At this time, online distance nursing courses for Spring session will continue (as per minimum enrolment requirements).

Please contact distance.nursing@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ On-campus Nursing Courses

Bachelor of Science in Nursing courses originally scheduled on-campus or off-campus in a face-to-face setting will be offered online:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing clinical, sim and labs – POSTPONED until further notice

Contact nursing@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Off-Campus Bachelor of Education

Spring courses for the off-campus BEd program, originally scheduled off-campus in a face-to-face setting will be offered online.

Please contact wduggan@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Certificate in Early Elementary Mathematics Pedagogy

Spring courses for the off-campus BEd program, originally scheduled off-campus in a face-to-face setting will be offered online.

Summer courses in the Certificate in Early Elementary Mathematics Pedagogy - We are planning for all courses in the Certificate to be online in summer unless otherwise communicated in the coming weeks.

Please contact cmaceach@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Certificate in Outdoor Education

Spring courses in the Certificate in Outdoor Education – POSTPONED until further notice.

Please contact 902.870.4142 or cmaceach@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Master of Education

At this time, online Master of Education (MEd) courses scheduled for Spring session will continue (as per minimum enrolment requirements).

Spring session MEd courses with face-to-face components will be offered online.

Summer MEd courses - We are planning for all MEd courses to be online in summer unless otherwise communicated in the coming weeks.

Please contact med@stfx.ca if you have any questions.

+ Summer 2020 Online Courses

Online courses scheduled for Summer session 2020 will continue as planned. Information regarding on-campus or off-campus face-to-face Summer courses will be posted in the coming weeks.

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CO-OP/CLINICAL AND ACADEMIC SUPPORTS

+ My professor says to use Moodle/Zoom/Teams for my course. How can I access the online platform?

You can access each of the platforms by clicking here.

+ WHAT IF I ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTY WITH THE TECHNOLOGY BEING USED IN MY NEW ON-LINE COURSE(S)?

Should you encounter difficulty with course technology, including Moodle, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, please contact IT Services:

For support with online course delivery: click here

Email: itservices@stfx.ca

Please note IT Services Hours:

Monday- Friday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm AST

+ I am currently on a clinical or co-op work placement or working in a research capacity. Are these being impacted?

Clinical and co-op placements, as well as limited research activities, including thesis-based Masters co-op work placements can continue.

+ IS THE TRAMBLE CENTRE FOR ACCESSIBLE LEARNING STILL AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS?

Yes, for any inquiries related to the Tramble Centre, please email Elizabeth Kell, Coordinator of the Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning.

+ IS THE STUDENT SUCCESS CENTRE STILL AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS?

Yes. Appointments are available through our online booking system, and will be conducted online in real time, via Moodle/Collaborate. Students without access to suitable technology (or in distant time zones) can also get help through alternative media.

Options for tutoring are similarly available. Users of the Nimbus app for tutoring will find it active as normal.

Open group tutorial sessions through Success @ Schwartz have moved online.

+  IS THE ANGUS L. MACDONALD LIBRARY OPEN?

The Library building is closed, but most services are still available online via chat, online meeting software or through telephone.

The Library's “Live Help” chat service is available 10 a.m. -10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Friday, and 4-10 p.m. on Sunday. One-on-one virtual appointments are also available with librarians; please contact them directly to set up a time. 

The new Library Services Guide also pulls together a variety of useful information, including tutorials and access to new ebooks and journals.

If you have specific questions, please visit the library website for more information or email library@stfx.ca.

+  Is Academic Advising still available to support students?

As we have moved to a virtual platform, Academic Advising remains a valuable resource for your academic needs. We are all working from home and offer phone appointments in place of the normal face-to-face option. Two of our advisors are piloting an online appointment option where you connect via online chat in the appointment. For those students who are not in a time zone in line with our regular office hours, or students who prefer this method, we offer assistance via email.

To book an appointment with Academic Advising please use the appointment booking system: https://stfx.mywconline.com  Advisors' contact information:

More information can be found on our website.

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CAMPUS SERVICES

+ Is campus closed? What is still open?

The StFX campus is also closed to the general public until further notice. The exceptions to this are parents arriving on campus to take their students home, and the Maritime Bus departure area (3rd floor, Bloomfield Centre.)

Residence and Food Service

Residences and campus food services remain open for those students who are not yet able to return home only. 

Administrative Offices

Almost all administrative staff have transitioned to working from home. While physical offices may be closed, our staff are still working and are reachable via email during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Atlantic Standard time.

For links to specific administrative or student services departments (including contact information) please see the "Who do I contact" question below.

Other Campus Services

  • Bloomfield Centre Info Desk: Hours of operation as of April 1: Monday to Friday, 10am-3pm. Closed weekends. These hours correspond with the post office and Maritime Bus.
  • Campus Mail: As of March 19, all mail will be collected at the Post Office (1st floor, Bloomfield) and can be picked up between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Please note all couriered deliveries should be directed to the Post Office.
  • Campus Tours: Please note that our campus tour office is closed. Prospective students are encouraged to visit our virtual online tour.
  • Facilities Management: A number of FM employees are still on campus, working to ensure StFX is clean and safe for any remaining students and staff. 
  • IT Services Help Desk: Please contact the Help Desk via email at itservices@stfx.ca or through the ticketing system and online chat found at mystfx.ca/ithelp if you have technical issues.  The help desk voicemail box will also be monitored remotely. Please note that Help Desk hours are 8:30-4:30 ADT. 
  • Safety and Security Services: StFX Safety and Security Services remains fully operational 24 hours a day, and can be reached by calling 902-867-4444 or emailing security@stfx.ca
  • STFX Store and X-RING Store: Both retail locations are closed until further notice, but the online store is still available. Staff are working from home and able to respond to email.
+ I need support or have a question. Who do I contact?

You should email the department that’s specific to your question. Please note that while our physical offices are closed, staff are still working and are available to respond to your inquiries. In some cases, please allow for a slight delay in response time as our staff work to set-up home offices and transition to working remotely.

Please see the links below for departmental contact information:

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Health, Wellness, and Social Distancing

+ What level of risk does COVID-19 present?

From the Government of Canada COVID-19 web portal:

"COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high

This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians."

+ What should students or employees with flu-like symptoms do?

If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms – whether or not you believe them to be related to COVID-19 – you should stay at home or in your residence room, and see a healthcare professional as you deem appropriate.  If you are showing symptoms related to COVID-19, you are encouraged to consult the Nova Scotia government’s self-assessment guide, which will dictate whether you should report your symptoms to 811.

Employees who are experiencing any flu-like symptoms should take a sick day, or arrange to work from home as appropriate.

+ I need to access medical services. What should I do? 

If you have a family doctor, please contact them. StFX students who DO NOT have a family doctor can call 902-863-4558 for an appointment during regular office hours at the Mediplex Clinic. Please note that the regular after-hours clinics in Antigonish are closed. 

Students may also access many health resources at any local pharmacy, as pharmacists are able to assess and treat many minor ailments. Please note there may be a nominal cost for this service.

Please do not go to St. Martha’s Emergency Department for any non-emergency issues, as community health care providers are extremely busy responding to COVID-19.

Please do not call 811 at this time for any health inquiry that is not related to COVID-19. Nova Scotia’s 811 website has information you can access.  

For any inquiries related to the Health and Counselling Centre, please email Margie McKinnon, Director of Health, Counselling and Accessible Learning at mmckinno@stfx.ca  

+ What Health and Counselling Services are available?

The Health and Counselling Centre is closed to in-person services until September. Over the coming months, students will have the option of phone support with a counsellor. If you would like to access non-urgent mental health support with one of our counsellors by phone, please email Ivan Drouin at idrouin@stfx.ca for more information.  

Students who wish to access online supports during the closure period should refer to the online and phone-based resources available through Healthy Minds NS.

If you are a student currently experiencing an emergency, the following resources are available 24/7:

  • Proceed to your nearest hospital emergency department
  • Call 911
  • NS Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167
  • Good2TalkNS: 1-833-292-3698
  • Crisis Text Line: text “GOOD2TALKNS” to 686868

For additional inquiries, please email Margie McKinnon, Director of Health, Counselling and Accessible Learning at mmckinno@stfx.ca.

+ What are some strategies for dealing with the stress and anxiety of this situation?

This is a new challenge for all of us. The measures we are experiencing – cancelling in person classes, cultural and sporting events, changes to travel, etc. – are bound to raise our levels of anxiety and concern. Some of us may feel sadness and loss as a result of ending your time on campus unexpectedly early. Some may feel happy to be able to be with family and friends back home.

These are all natural reactions. Some things you can do to manage through emotional time:

  • Limit your news and information intake to accurate and informative sources. The university’s website will be updated regularly, and has links to reputable sources of information.
  • Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat well. Normal, healthy routines are especially important in moments of stress.
  • Take a break, engage in good mindfulness practices, and go for a walk or run outdoors.
+ What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or diseases. It includes limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and cancelling events.

Please note that on Sunday, March 21, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency. This gives law enforcement the authority to fine people who are not following social distancing protocols.

+ Is it safe to meet in groups?

Social distancing principles dictate that you should stay home and limit your interactions with others as much as possible. On Sunday, March 21, the Province of Nova Scotia has declared that people should not gather in groups larger than five. The province has also declared a state of emergency, which gives law enforcement the authority to fine people who are not following social distancing protocols.

 

FAQs for Staff & Faculty

+ How do I report a health and safety concern?

If you are aware of a risk to health or safety that requires immediate attention or an injury or incident involving a visitor to campus, please call StFX Safety & Security now at 902 867 4444 or 911 (then call Security).

Please click on the following link to report a Health and Safety Concern to the University:  http://www2.mystfx.ca/ohs/report-health-and-safety-concern

+ Are Financial Services protocols and processes still operating as normal?

Financial Services has introduced a number of process chances. Please visit their website to learn more.

+ If I am now working from home, can I drop by the office to pick up a few things during regular or non-working hours?

Yes, if you are now working from home and need to briefly stop by your office or work environment to pick up a few things you may do so, but you must contact StFX Security 24 hours in advance. Please call security at 902-867-4444 or email them at security@stfx.ca and arrange for a specific date and time for you to go to your building. You must practice safe physical distancing protocols while in your work environment.

+ Will I be paid if I am unable to work because of self-isolation or quarantine due to travel?

a) If the nature of your job allows you to work from home, and you have no symptoms: you are expected to notify your Supervisor or Dean of your return date to Canada and discuss options for working from home. You will be paid regular pay.

b) If the nature of your job allows you to work from home but you are feeling sick: you should notify your Supervisor or Dean that you cannot work because you are sick. You will be paid through sick leave until you are well enough to resume working from home during the self-isolation period.

c) If your job does not allow you to work from home: you must notify your Supervisor or Dean of your return date to Canada and you must self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.  You will be paid for your regular hours during that 14-day calendar period. This 14-day period will be paid without drawing down other balances of sick leave, vacation, etc., but will be limited to the 14 calendar days. Once 14 calendar days are up, you will be expected to return to work provided you are well.

If you become unwell within the 14-day period, you will transition to sick leave.  Please contact your Supervisor or Dean to update them on your status.

If you become unwell beyond the 14 calendar days, you will transition to sick leave.  Employees who do not have sick leave will be provided with a Record of Employment and you can apply for EI sick benefits with no waiting period.

+ Am I required to provide a doctor’s note to establish entitlement to paid sick leave benefits as a result of self-isolation or quarantine?

No. However, you are required to contact your Supervisor or Dean to discuss your absence.

+ I have underlying health issues and am concerned about being in the workplace, what do I do?

Please contact Human Resources to discuss your options on a case-by-case basis.

+ I am not having symptoms, but I am feeling anxious and/or stressed about COVID-19 and want to talk to someone. Who should I contact?

This can be a stressful time, if you or a family member would like to speak to someone, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) can provide you with immediate and confidential help for any work, health or life concern.

Access your EFAP: 

  • By phone: 1-800-387-4765
  • By website: workhealthlife.com
  • Download the MyEAP app in your app store
+ Where can I go for Human Resources information?

Please visit our Human Resources website for contact information.

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PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

+ Is the university still open?

Currently, almost all StFX faculty and staff have transitioned to working from home. While physical offices may be closed, our staff are still working and are reachable via email during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADT.

As of March 15, the StFX campus is closed to the general public until further notice.

+ Can I schedule a campus tour?

In-person campus tours are not available until further notice, as our campus is closed to the general public. In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out StFX’s virtual campus tour.

Should you have questions related to campus tours, please email visit@stfx.ca

+ Are you still accepting applications for admission?

Yes! You can apply online at stfx.ca/apply. We ask that you submit transcripts to admit@stfx.ca. Please note that our ability to collect physical mail is limited at this time.

+ I have a question about an existing application (or submitting a new application.) Who do I contact?

Please email our admissions office at admit@stfx.ca

+ I’m thinking about attending StFX. Is there anyone I can talk to?

Yes! Our student success leaders are working remotely, and are available to connect with you via email, phone, or Zoom. They can answer any question you may have about attending StFX.

Please visit StFX.ca/talk-to-us to find a Student Success Leader near you.

Event Cancellations

+ What about other events on campus?

All internal and external in-person events are cancelled up until further notice. This includes but not limited to sports camps, conferences, church services, etc.

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