Seneca
TO: Full-time students
FROM: Christine Blake, Dean of Students
RE: Semester completion and other updates
I know this has not been an easy time for you. As the strike continues, you may be wondering what it will be like when you come back to class.

We have been working on plans for you to complete your studies when you return. Those plans, however, depend on two essential points: the date that you return to class, and the input of your professors. We will be able to provide you with the actual plans when you are back in class, which we all hope will be soon.

There is a vote next week (November 14 to 16) for academic employees on the latest contract offer. If they accept it, the strike will be over. If they vote against it, the strike will continue. We will let you know the results of the vote as soon as possible on Thursday. There is still the possibility of a negotiated settlement, but at this time there is no way to know when or how the strike will end.

In the meantime, listed below is information that we hope you’ll find helpful.

What we can confirm right now:

48-hours notice before classes begin
No matter when the strike ends, we will provide you with 48-hours notice before classes begin. There will not be any tests or exams held or assignments due on the first day of classes.

Fall semester extended to Dec. 22
To ensure you have the opportunity to complete your studies without compromising the quality of your education, the fall semester will be extended to Friday, Dec. 22. Depending on the length of the strike, classes could be extended into January. We will confirm semester dates once the strike is over.

No academic activity 6 p.m. Dec. 22 to 7 a.m. Jan. 2
There will not be any academic activity such as classes, exams, tests or assignments between Friday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7 a.m. when services resume at all of our campuses. The Computing Commons and Fitness Centre at Newnham Campus will be open during the week of December 24, but the rest of Seneca will be closed.

Academic dates will change
Academic dates will be revised as soon as we know when classes will resume. We will notify you of the new dates as soon as they are available so you have enough time to meet any deadlines.

Travel plans
We know that some of you made December travel plans before the strike began and are unsure of what to do since the semester has been extended to Dec. 22. If you booked travel plans before Friday, Oct. 27, here is how we can help:
  • For students who cannot postpone or cancel travel plans, and will be missing classes because of the extended semester, our Student Advisers will work with you on an individual basis to help you maintain both your travel plans and your studies. You can meet with your Student Adviser when you are back in class.
  • If you can no longer travel because the semester has been extended, and have the appropriate documentation, we will help you with the costs. There will be a form for you to complete when you are back in class.
If you are planning to travel over the holiday break, we suggest you consider travelling between Saturday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Jan. 1 as there will not be any classes, tests, assignments or exams during that time.

Financial hardship fund
We will be helping to support students who experience financial hardship as a result of the changed dates of the fall semester. We have not yet finalized how this will work, but soon we will be announcing a process to apply for financial assistance.

Parking permits will be extended
If you purchased parking permits for King, Markham, Newnham or Seneca@York (through York University), the permits will automatically be extended through to Sunday, Dec. 31. You don’t have to do anything to extend your permit.

Residence stay extended
If you are living in our King or Newnham residence, your residence agreement will automatically be extended to Friday, Dec. 22. You don’t have to do anything to extend your stay. Residence students will be receiving more information directly.

Locker rental extended
If you rented a locker for the fall semester, it will automatically be extended to Friday, Dec. 22. You don’t have to do anything to extend your rental.

What you can be doing during the strike:

Study, work on assignments, use our services
Students are encouraged to read, work on assignments and be prepared for when classes resume. Our Libraries are open and Learning Centre staff are ready to help you review and better understand content already covered in your course. They are unable to help with new material that has not yet been covered by your professor. The Computing Commons and some computer labs are open as are Athletics and Recreation and other student services.

Stay healthy and fit
We know that this can be a stressful time. Keeping active can help. This could include visiting one of the fitness centres on campus, taking part in Athletics and Recreation activities, connecting with family and friends and making time for yourself. Our Counselling and Accessibility offices are open and are able to provide information on resources available to students with questions about mental health, well-being and anxiety. The 24-hour Good2Talk helpline for postsecondary students is available by phoning 1.866.925.5454. The Newnham Campus Health Centre is also open.

Please remember we’re here to support you, so please email us through dean.students@senecacollege.ca if you have any questions that you cannot find on our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding, and we all hope to have you back at Seneca soon.