Hello grad students,
Just a brief update of how our discussions have been with the University over the past week!
With respect to advocating for tuition waivers and financial constraints for graduate students soon to defend, there are still a few factors for the university to consider before releasing any final statements. But we are actively advocating for all of us throughout this time and ensuring that this issue is constantly on their minds.
Please find a few notes below that they were able to have final messaging about:
- Students are encouraged to communicate regularly with their supervisors about goals to be achieved while working from home and their research progress.
- Students who have unusual challenges in terms of access to internet and hardware required to work from home should communicate this to us at the GSA (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrea Cole (email@example.com) in the School of Graduate Studies with a cc to their Faculty’s Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
- Students who have accepted an offer for a May 1, 2020 start but who are reconsidering their start date may defer to September 1, 2020 or January 1, 2021 after consultation with their supervisor.
- No graduate student should be in the lab on-campus at this time unless the lab has been permitted an exception by the Vice-President Research’s office.
- Emergency financial assistance is available to graduate students. Please consult https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/covid-19/#tab-5 for details.
- Graduate instructors have been informed of the degree of flexibility allowed in determining numerical grades for courses concluding at the end of the Winter 2020 term. Further clarification of options is expected subsequent to the April 8, 2020 meeting of Senate.
In addition to these points, we are asking you to please fill out this very brief survey no later than April 8th @ 5PM outlining your specific concerns that we will compile and present to the University on April 10th. Also, we are partnering with SGS to have a weekly café drop in where you can voice specific concerns throughout this time and also have a chat with fellow graduate students about how we are all getting through this time. Updates to follow shortly.
We are in communication with upper administration every day and have recurring meetings set up with Leadership at the University on a weekly basis. For many of our questions, they have tried their best to be accommodating to find solutions for us and the student body in general; however, we too are still waiting for clarification. That’s not to suggest we are dormant. We continue to voice our concerns to McMaster.
If there are any other concerns that you’d want further follow-up with, please feel free to shoot me an email personally (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll try my best to get back to you as soon as possible!