On Friday March 13, 2020, at approximately 10:10 a.m., McMaster announced that it will be suspending all in-person classes for undergraduate and graduate students. Classes will end at the end of day Friday March 13 and no in-person exams will be held at the end of this term.
In a previous announcement earlier in March, faculty members and instructors were advised to consider planning for e-learning alternatives to in-person classes. On March 13th, the statement indicated that faculty have been asked to communicate to students by Wednesday, March 18th what the remainder of their courses will look like, including how they assessments will be managed and how grades will be assessed in order for students to complete their credits within the normal timeframe of the winter term.
In the letter from our president, posted on McMaster’s Daily News webpage, administration stated that the university’s Crisis Management Team, which includes academic leaders and others from across McMaster, will continue to lead the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This announcement to cancel all in-person classes was made following a statement on March 12, in which McMaster University indicated that new measures in response to COVID-19. The university called for a cancellation of all discretionary events , and is also encouraging all employees to avoid travelling outside of Canada, effective immediately.
According to the statement, “events that are not core to the university’s academic mission and operations will be cancelled until at least the end of April.”
Discretionary events include: on-campus and off campus university and student-organized events such fundraisers, intramurals, performances; events organized by external organizations at McMaster such as tournaments, conferences, public speakers; and additional events such as March Break tours and camps, public lectures and presentations that are not part of an academic program.
At the time of the statement released on the evening of March 12, classes and labs had not been discontinued and the university posted on all its social media that it will remain open, prompting a reaction from students as they voiced their concerns over the decision.
Earlier in the week, on Mar. 11, McMaster made a statement that it had ended all international travel for undergraduate and graduate students for McMaster-related activities. Additionally, McMaster now encourages all university employees to avoid travel outside of Canada.
“Those who are currently out of the country are asked to check Government of Canada travel advisories while they are away and to make sure that they follow all advice for self-isolation or self-monitoring upon their return to Canada,” reads the Mar. 12 statement.
The Silhouette will update this article as more information surfaces.
Update: March 13, 12:48 p.m. At 11:33 a.m., the McMaster School of Nursing sent an email notifying students that the BScN program will be ending classes on Thursday, March 27. The email stated that in-person exams will be cancelled in April, and alternate evaluation approaches will be used. We are awaiting updates as to whether this applies to both undergraduate and graduate nursing students, and whether nursing students will continue with their placements.