Update for 2021W Term Two

Students » The Distillation Blog » Update for 2021W Term Two


 January 26, 2022

Dear Students,

Further to our email from January 12 and following today’s announcement from UBC, we are writing to confirm that Science courses will resume in-person instruction from Monday February 7.   

A number of you have already started in-person labs this week and we trust that the remainder of you have made plans to return for February 7. As we shared in our last message, we will be limited in our ability to provide support to students who are not in the local area when in-person instruction resumes. 

We recognize that some members of our community may be excited to return to more in-person instruction and others may be more apprehensive. In addition to the safety measures that UBC has in place, we all continue to be responsible for supporting our community with measures to support everyone’s health. You will be expected to wear a medical grade mask. Wash your hands frequently and well. UBC’s announcement provides more information about the precautions in place and information about at-home test kits for symptomatic individuals.

If you’re sick, it’s important that you don’t attend in-person class – no matter what you think you may be sick with (e.g., cold, flu, other). 

When you’re unable to attend class for a day or two because you’re unwell, connect with a classmate for their notes and review the relevant content on Canvas or in the textbook (or elsewhere) to stay caught up. If you still have questions, ask on the class discussion board.  If available, attend online office hours, or, when you’re able/better, go to your instructor or teaching assistant’s in-person office hours.

If you’re sick for more than a few days and are not well enough to keep up by following the strategies noted above - connect with your instructor AND with Science Advising right away to share that you’ve been unwell and unable to attend your classes. An academic advisor can talk with you holistically about how you’re managing with your courses and your health.

If there are deadlines or assignments that require in-person attendance that you believe will be impacted, reach out to your instructor as soon as possible. You can ask if there are alternate timelines or options to meet those requirements. Don’t forget to always include your full name and student number when emailing your instructors and Science Advising.

We are looking forward to seeing you on campus very soon, whether you’ve been here throughout or are just returning.  We are sure you are eager to get back to campus life, and to resume in-person learning as well.  Imagine replacing breakout groups with real live people!  Walking down Main Mall and running into friends. Viewing the ocean and the mountains from the Rose Garden.

Sending you my best,
Dean Meigan Aronson


January 12, 2022

Dear Science (BSc and BCS) students,

We hope that you have found ways to prioritize rest, and are energized for the start of the term.  

Today we are writing to follow the announcement from UBC that the majority of programs will continue online through February 7. In Science, this means that your courses will continue to be held online until that time, with the exception of some labs that will start from January 24. 

We are grateful for the dedication of our entire community for maintaining continuity of education through online instruction in this interim period. We are committed to returning to in-person teaching and learning for all courses that were planned to be held in that mode; our intention is to transition swiftly when the conditions permit. The following information is critical so that you will be prepared to continue your personal studies without interruption. 

Return to campus (and local area) this month
We encourage you to make or finalize your plans to return to campus this month. Global locations that were impacted by the Omicron variant of concern earlier than Canada are showing
encouraging signs that their cases may have peaked and are now decreasing. 

We know that there are added benefits with in-person teaching and learning, including for personal wellbeing and our sense of community and connection. We will transition the remaining courses in-person quickly once the conditions permit (on or after February 7) and you will need to be nearby in order to continue your studies seamlessly. We will be very limited in our ability to provide support to those who are not in the area when classes resume in-person. In Science, your assessments (e.g. final exams) for in-person and online courses will transition to requiring attendance on campus and you will be expected to complete the assessments at the appointed time and place. 

Some labs will start in-person from January 24
We anticipate that many labs will transition to be held in-person starting from January 24. In-person labs require all participants to wear an N95 (or equivalent) mask.  Each lab course that you are registered in will provide you with the details of how and when you should expect to participate in your lab. Your lab instructor(s) are working as quickly as possible to update their planning - please do not contact your lab instructor for more details. They will share this information with all registered students as soon as possible.

In the meantime, make the necessary arrangements to return to campus so that you can transition to your in-person lab(s) without interruption. You will need to be on campus when your lab(s) start.  

As always, this is a dynamic and changing situation. We will continue to strive to provide you with timely and relevant updates as we have the information to do so. For now, please put the gears in motion to return to campus so that we can transition as seamlessly as possible to in-person learning when the circumstances allow.

With kind regards,
Dean Meigan Aronson



December 22, 2021

Dear Faculty of Science (BSc and BCS) Students:

We expect that you will have seen the UBC Broadcast that announces that most instruction at UBC will be online until January 24, 2022.  This was a most difficult decision for the university, taken in the spirit of an abundance of caution.  We are currently in a period of maximum uncertainty, and we will know more about Omicron in the coming weeks that will help us determine the best path forward.

In the Faculty of Science, our classes will be online until January 24, 2022, regardless of the mode of delivery listed on the UBC Course Schedule. Your January classes will continue to run at the scheduled time in the Pacific Standard Time zone – this means that you must attend synchronous activities at the scheduled time.  In-person labs will not meet during this period.  

The campus will remain open during this time, and our support and resources for students will be available when the University reopens on January 4, 2022.  At this time, we plan to resume in-person instruction on January 24, 2022, and we advise you to arrange your travel accordingly.   Of course, this is a dynamic situation and you are advised to regularly consult the Science website science.ubc.ca/students for updates, especially after the first week of January.

In the meantime, please continue to take good care of yourselves. Wash your hands well and regularly, wear your best fitting mask, and reduce your contacts where possible. In spite of the uncertainty we all face in light of the pandemic, please look for ways to dedicate time to rest and recharging your personal battery.

Wishing you a safe holiday,
Dean Meigan Aronson