SFU announces plans for partial opening in Spring 2021

Few courses will slowly begin expanding to in-person while maintaining safety precautions

Image Courtesy of Simon Fraser University via Facebook

Written by: Michelle Young, News Editor

SFU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost pro tem Dr. Jonathan Driver announced on September 3 via email that the university anticipates the continuous use of remote instruction for the upcoming spring semester. Select in-person components for courses that require “research and experiential learning” will also continue during the spring. Students in programs that require on-hands learning “will hear directly from their faculties with ample time to make arrangements.”

The email addressed to SFU students, faculty, and staff explained that on-campus activities plan to be expanded. This could include certain academic events, such as thesis defences, and select on-campus services, like the W.A.C. Bennett Library and Health & Counselling Services. Expanding in-person activities will require an approved Safety Plan for services and events, and the guidance of public health officials. 

At this time, international travel will only be permitted for “essential university-sanctioned travel and in accordance with approved guidance for exceptions.”

There is also potential for some graduate classes to move towards in-person instruction, as they’re typically smaller in size, according to Driver. The announcement noted that more details on the approval process for in-person classes will be communicated at a later date. 

Driver concluded by stating that SFU “[continues] to work with public health authorities to ensure the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff.”