Welcome back to campus

Posted Sept. 8, 2021


Hello everyone, it’s Tim here. I want to take a moment to say hello and welcome all of you back to campus. Even under the most normal of circumstances, the fall semester is always busy — in the best way possible.

There is always a wonderful energy of eager students ready to start their programs, and employees actively planning and preparing courses and services. Certainly, there is even a dash of nerves mixed in, which only adds to the excitement of it all. I think many of us in the academic community consider September to be our real “New Year” celebration — and while I always look forward to a new semester, the Fall 2021 semester stands out as an incredible moment at Mount Royal.

The majority of us are transitioning back to campus this fall and I recognize that this is a real change of pace that comes with some joys and some anxieties.

First, the joys: Personally, it feels incredibly good to be back on campus after many of us have studied and worked from home. I feel grateful to see new and familiar faces in the hallways again, to be able to say hello and catch up.

Now the anxieties: We continue to find a balance between returning to an in-person learning environment while we still manage the risks of COVID-19. I recognize there is frustration; this makes sense as it is an incredibly frustrating time. There will be differences of opinion on MRU’s approach, but we have tried to find the right balance. We have shown that we can adapt to changes to how we work and learn. I think this is part of our new norm and we will absolutely come out on the other side of this. Until then, please try to be generous and kind as we all continue to learn how to navigate through this dynamic situation.

We are learning to live with COVID-19 in real time. I can’t say exactly what lies ahead, but as a campus community we will continue to reassess the situation and support one another, as we have for the past year and a half, so that we can deliver on our commitment to our students.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that students, staff and faculty have worked through many twists and turns related to teaching and learning — thank you. We are conquering obstacles we may not have anticipated by working hard to find solutions. We will get to where we want to be by finding peace in discomfort. When the unknown is around the corner, it is nearly impossible to have all the answers to every possible situation.

A situation we can happily anticipate is students immersing themselves in their courses. There are many new students starting at MRU this semester, however there are also second-year students, well into their programs, only just coming to campus for the first time this September.

We also have employees who went through a completely remote hiring process, have been working remotely for some time and have only recently set foot into their department or office. To all of you, I offer my most sincere “welcome to MRU,” even if you have been with us for some time.

Students, I know it can be hard to get used to a new environment, but the skills you have developed to adapt to new ways of learning and meeting your peers through video calls is what will help guide you on campus. Your ability to adapt is appreciated and please know that Mount Royal is a friendly community and you are not on your own.

If you are new to campus and find that you have lost your way, we are here for you. Supports like the Office of Student Success and Wellness Services, and many others, are available to help. That’s what we are here to do — all of us, together. Help one another find our way.

Finally, I would like to wish all of you the very best this semester. Again, please treat yourself and others with compassion and follow all the health directives we’ve adopted at MRU.

If you have not been vaccinated, please do so. Please do not come to MRU if you are ill. Wear your masks and help us combat COVID-19.

Take care.