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Changes at CMU due to code red

Changes at CMU due to code red

During this extraordinary fall, the contributions of students, staff, and faculty have been outstanding in attending to the safety, health, and well-being of all. Your collective efforts have enabled us to learn well together and to sustain a remarkable record of health throughout the learning community. Thank you for the depth  of your care for the safety and well-being of yourself and of others, on campus and everywhere you go.

At this time the Winnipeg pandemic context has changed and the city has been placed in code red by Manitoba Health. This signifies considerable community transmission of COVID-19 throughout the city, and insufficient predictive capacity to know where and how many carriers are walking about unawares. Thus, following conversation with a group of faculty and students, the CMU Pandemic Response and Recovery Committee (PRRC) has determined that CMU efforts to sustain safety and health are best served by implementing the following changes beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3. These decisions limit the possibility of COVID-19 transmission by reducing the amount of time that we breathe the same air in enclosed spaces.

  1. For the period of Tuesday, November 3 – Tuesday, November 10, all CMU classes will take place online.
    1. This applies to all classes, labs, lessons and ensembles, all of which have been designed to allow for this possibility.
    2. Note that there are no classes Wednesday, November 11 to Friday, November 13 as the university breaks for Remembrance Day and Fall Readings Days.
    3. Those students and faculty members who prefer to attend class only online this (Monday) afternoon and evening are welcome to do so by providing notice to the class (for faculty) and to the professor (for students).
    4. Throughout the term, CMU students and faculty have worked well to get to know one another and create community through in-person interactions. This community will carry on as we teach and learn online during this code red period. 
  2. Monday, November 16: Provided there is a considerable decrease in the number of positive COVID-19 cases by next week, hybrid classes may be reintroduced as soon as Nov 16th.
    1. By Thursday, November 12,  CMU will evaluate and announce whether rates of COVID-19 transmission in Winnipeg have been reduced enough to reintroduce the opportunity for hybrid classes safely.
    2. Personal choice for in-person or online access will again be available at the time that hybrid options resume.
  3. The CMU campus will continue to be accessible to students, staff and faculty during the time when classes are only virtual.
    1. Students living in Poettker Hall, Concord Hall, and Katherine Friesen Apartments will receive further notice on spaces available for attending online classes and for studying. These spaces include:
      1. South side buildings (classrooms in admin building, and Mennonite Archives and Gallery)
      2. Marpeck Commons, including Library, mezzanine, and area in front of folio café
      3. Great Hall (north)
    2. Commuter students are welcome to study throughout Marpeck Commons or in the Great Hall.
    3. Students continue to have access to music practise rooms.
    4. Please note that the Library will be closed on Remembrance Day (Wednesday, November 11).
    5. Students are welcome to meet with one another on campus, and also with faculty and staff.
      1. Meetings of 2-5 persons should happen only in large spaces, and for relatively short spans of time. Please limit all in-person meetings and conversations to 30 minutes, and continue to wear masks and sustain two-metre distancing during those times.
    6. Staff and faculty for whom it is possible to work from home are welcome, but not required to do so.
  4. CommonWord will remain open to students, staff, and faculty during regular hours.
    1. Marpeck Commons will remain locked at all times; members of the public may access CommonWord by calling from outside.
  5. folio café will not be operating until further notice.
  6. Eating on campus
    1. Indoor meals continue in the CMU Dining Hall for students living on campus.
    2. Shared lounge spaces (student lounges and staff/faculty lounges) are open for meeting and studying, but not for eating with masks off.
      1. You are welcome to take bites of food or sips of drink as you work in shared spaces by half-removing masks momentarily, but need to keep masks on where you're engaged in conversation. In other words, we are in a time of fasting from the mix of eating, drinking, and talking during this period—unless you eat outside.
  7. Practising well-being: Our need to play, laugh, and cry out loud with one another
    1. During these deep red pandemic days, the best way to connect with others in-person is to walk, run, skip, cycle, or dance alongside one another outdoors. Whether you come to campus or choose to stay away during these red days, please set up at least three outdoor jaunts/day. Watch for CMU notices inviting you into short outdoor treks.

I close with repeating the blessing from Opening Convocation: Because the CMU learning community is beautiful, we choose not to be afraid. Let us follow the path set before us—and limit most of our connections during this code red period to virtual, very short indoor, and longer outdoor interactions. And may we take heart in the safe and creative ways we continue to connect and care for one another.

May God bless you and keep you, and give you peace.


Cheryl Pauls
CMU President

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