New Brunswick Tribune

Universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow the province in removing all limitations

Universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow the province's lead and remove all restrictions.

Key Takeaways:

  • On March 14, the province will lift all pandemic restrictions, including gathering limits and mask mandates, but universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow suit.
  • The majority of precautions are in place until the end of the semester at Saint Thomas University, which has taken a similar approach.

Although the province is lifting all pandemic limitations on March 14, including gathering limits as well as mask mandates, universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow suit.

Though proof of vaccination is no longer needed on campus, many pandemic-related measures such as physical separation, mask use, and assigned seating in class will remain in effect until April 30, according to the Université de Moncton.

After a survey disclosed students were divided on the topic of going back to campus for in-person learning in the first place, student council president Mathilde Thériault stated in Global News on Tuesday that the council assumes “Université de Moncton should hold an excess of precaution.”

Saint Thomas University has adopted a similar approach, with most precautions in place until the end of the semester.

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Tyler MaGee, president of the student union, stated in an interview on Tuesday that he believes this will give students some much-needed stability as they approach exam season.

“I believe it makes sense to stay stable for the remainder of the academic year, especially given how short the remainder of the academic year is.” “I agree with the university’s assessment that it’s best to keep things as they are till the end of the semester when we can review.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell stated stability for students was a factor in the university’s choice in a message sent to students last Friday.

“With only six weeks between March 14 and the end of the semester and exams, it is important to focus on continuity as well as stability rather than launching a series of changes at this late stage of the academic year.”

Universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow the province's lead and remove all restrictions.
Universities in New Brunswick are hesitant to follow the province’s lead and remove all restrictions. Image from Tellusdaily

According to a Mount Allison University spokesperson, the university will keep most of its current pandemic-related health and safety measures in place until April 30.

The University of New Brunswick has yet to decide what restrictions will remain in place on campus after March 14. “We’re consulting to Public Health on how best to continue when the required order is lifted,” a university spokesperson told Global News on Tuesday.

While the UNB Student Union will support whatever decision Public Health makes, the possibility of loosening restrictions stays a divisive topic between students, according to Kordell Walsh, president of the UNB Student Union.

“Some students are certainly worried about class sizes as well as effective social distancing,” he said in an interview on Tuesday, “with the mindset that the pandemic isn’t going away overnight.”

“There are also some students who are strongly in favor of removing restrictions and returning to a new normal.”

Source: Global News

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