Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering’s Response to COVID-19

Latest on coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page serves to supplement the notices posted by the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

U of T requires COVID-19 self-assessments before visiting campus

October 26, 2020

UCheck, the university’s self-assessment portal, is an easy and secure way to complete a COVID-19 symptom screening, which is now required each day before visiting one of U of T’s three campuses (photo by FreshSplash via Getty Images)

In line with provincial regulation and public health guidance, the University of Toronto is requiring anyone coming to one of its three campuses to complete a COVID-19 health screening by conducting a self-assessment each day before they visit.

UCheck, the university’s online self-assessment tool introduced in September, is the easiest and most secure way to complete a self-assessment. UCheck asks users questions such as whether they are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, have travelled outside Canada or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Members of the U of T community who don’t have access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, or choose not to use UCheck, can instead use a paper-based or offline assessment log to track their self-assessments. Offline forms can be downloaded from U of T’s COVID-19 self-assessment website. Employees who can’t download the log should contact their manager or supervisor for a paper version.

“We know that one way we can limit the spread of COVD-19 is to monitor our health and stay home if we have symptoms,” said Cheryl Regehr, U of T’s vice-president and provost. “By taking just a few minutes to complete a self-assessment each time they visit campus, students, faculty and staff can help safeguard their own health while also contributing to the broader goal of curtailing the spread of the virus in the community.”

The new requirement is one of many measures the university has in place to respond the COVID-19 pandemic. While the move applies to all those who come to campus, most of U of T’s faculty, librarians, staff and students continue to work and study remotely.

Individuals who complete a UCheck self-assessment will either receive a green risk status, indicating that they are OK to visit campus, or a red risk status, signalling that must not come to campus. In the event of a red risk status, users are also provided with information about next steps and links to further information. Individual responses to the UCheck self-assessment questions are not accessible by anyone at the university. Those using a paper-based or offline tool will answer the same questions and record a similar green or red status.

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, U of T’s vice-president, human resources and equity, said required self-assessments will make it easier for managers and supervisors to determine next steps in the event that faculty, staff or librarians are deemed to be at risk.

“The vast majority of our faculty, staff and librarians at the University of Toronto are working remotely wherever possible, but some employees have returned to campus to support our students and research activities,” Hannah-Moffat said. “It is imperative that all individuals complete a self-assessment each time they come on-site. This is a simple yet effective way for us to contribute to a healthy working environment on all our campuses.”

The university will continue to work to educate members of the community about UCheck and other ways to complete required self-assessments, as well as other measures being taken to keep people safe and healthy during the pandemic.

UCheck is not a contact tracing or exposure notification app. Members of the U of T community are encouraged to install Canada’s COVID Alert app, which provides potential exposure notifications.

U of T community members who require additional health information are encouraged to call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, their local health-care practitioner or, for students, their campus health centre at:

•          St. George: 416-978-8030

•          U of T Scarborough: 416-287-7065

•          U of T Mississauga: 905-828-5255

 

This article originally published on the University of Toronto main website

Important Notice re Survey Camp

April 3, 2020
Dear CIV & MIN 2T2s,

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to let you know the Department has taken the difficult decision to cancel CME358 (a.k.a. Survey Camp) for the summer of 2020.

I know this may come as a disappointment, but in light of the accommodations and facilities at camp, the unknown trajectory of this public health crisis, and an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our students and instructors, we feel it would not be responsible to proceed with Camp this year.

Though Camp is usually scheduled in August, four months from now, our Department is making this decision now because it takes many months to prepare the site for Civil and Mineral Practicals (CAMP), including: opening the site after the winter, scheduling faculty/instructor availability, booking catering/meal service, acquiring adequate survey equipment, and ensuring a clean and safe water supply.

What does this mean for you?

CME358 is a requirement for Civil and Mineral Engineering students. It is a core component of the curriculum and we are committed to ensuring you will be able to complete this requirement prior to graduation.

CME358 gets much of its value from being an in-person, field-based course, so alternate delivery methods (including online delivery) are not an option for this course. As a result, we are looking into rescheduling the course. We are exploring all options. The option currently being considered is the following:

  • the class of 2T2 would attend camp in the summer of 2021 with half of the class of 2T3
    • any 2T2s that go on PEY would have the option of deferring to summer 2022 if they wish
  • the other half the 2T3 class would go to camp in summer 2022 with the class of 2T4

We will consult with students and in particular the classes of 2T2 & 2T3 before making a final decision, which will hopefully happen in the fall after we return to campus.

We want to hear from you. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please reach out to myself (chair.civil@utoronto.ca) or Shayni (shayni.curtis@utoronto.ca).

I wish you and your families good health during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Brent Sleep
Chair, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering

***
Be sure to check the U of TEngineering and CivMin website for the most up to date information related to COVID-19

Notice about Survey Camp 2020

March 23, 2020

Hello CIV and MIN Second Year Students,

We hope that you are keeping well and that you and your family are safe. Some of you may be wondering about whether Survey Camp will go ahead this summer and we wanted to give you an update about that.

It is still too early for us to make a decision about whether Survey Camp will go forward this year. We take the health and safety of our community very seriously. However, to ensure that we are organized enough in case Survey Camp is run, we will do need to proceed with some planning.

At this time, we will still ask students to submit their registration and secure a spot in Camp 1 or Camp 2. We will not ask you to pay your registration fee upfront. Once we are certain that Survey Camp will happen in 2020, then we will ask you to pay your registration fee.

As previously communicated to you, registration will open on Tuesday April 7th at 6am (EST). Registration links will be sent out soon.

You may also have other questions that are concerning you at this time. I am available via email as always to answer your questions.  I can also “chat” online using the TEAMS app through the Office 365 suite. If you want to book a “chat” with me, please still use the booking systems in the portal and I will schedule the chat in Teams with you at that time. For updates on the current academic regulations pertaining to accommodation for the rest of the term you can check the following link.

I wish you all the best, keep safe, keep healthy!

Shayni-

shayni.curtis@utoronto.ca

What’s Open and Closed in the Department

March 17, 2020

 

Graduate Student FAQ’s during the COVID-19 Disruption

March 17, 2020
[Check the SGS website for the most up to date information]

Dear Graduate Students,

We understand that some graduate students are faced with difficult decisions regarding whether to leave University of Toronto campuses, and/or the city, and return home, given the increasing challenges with travel arrangements and advice around social distancing. While each student has a unique set of circumstances and will have to evaluate their own situation, the University is taking steps to ensure most graduate activity can continue to take place without having to be present on campus. Here is an update on where things currently stand:

Graduate Courses

As of March 16 and continuing until at least April 3, all graduate courses across U of T’s three campuses are being delivered through alternative means (which may include existing online platforms). Students are receiving details about courses and revised session dates from their graduate program directly. Please contact your program with any questions.

Departmental Examinations

Most departmental examinations (e.g. qualifying, comprehensive, and/or general examinations) can take place without physical presence. More information will follow from your graduate program regarding arrangements for the completion of departmental examinations in your program.

Placements, Internships and Other Program Requirements

Please refer to your graduate program for further information.

Final Oral Examinations for Doctoral Students

For doctoral students with scheduled final oral examinations, SGS will make accommodations to allow these examinations to proceed as scheduled without physical presence. Alternatively, we will offer the option of postponement.

Graduate Research

We understand that this is a highly stressful time for many of you and we remain committed to providing you with highly engaged academic support. The University is advising that all lab-based research operations must be shut down no later than 5 PM, Friday March 20, 2020, other than critical COVID-19 research and time-sensitive critical projects. Other research settings, including many off-campus sites, are also shutting down. Please stay informed of the status of activities in your own research setting. In many cases, plans for future research may also need to be changed and contingency plans developed. Consult with your research supervisor about your planning. Please also consult the website of the Office of Vice-President Research and Innovation which will be updated daily.

Students in International Locations

The University is monitoring developments involving COVID-19, including the Canadian government’s latest advisory that it is time to return to your home country. If you are a graduate student undertaking university activity outside of Canada and are registered with U of T Safety Abroad, you will have received a message from Safety Abroad recently. Safety Abroad has heard from many of you. If you have not yet responded, please do so.
Please note that the Government of Canada has announced that non-Canadians and non-Permanent Residents of Canada will not be able to enter Canada on flights scheduled to arrive after 12:00 p.m., March 18, 2020. Safety Abroad is supporting travel adjustments and students who have already responded to the recent message do not need to resend. Safety Abroad will reach out to you if you have completed the form for a flight. If you have booked your own flight, please send Safety Abroad a copy of your ticket and let them know when you have safely landed. You may be able to apply for emergency bursary support to assist with additional travel costs. If you are registered with U of T Safety Abroad and have not received an email, please check your @mail.utoronto.ca email inbox and respond as soon as possible.
If you are currently outside Canada on university activity and have not registered with U of T Safety Abroad, please contact safety.abroad@utoronto.ca immediately. If you are returning or have just returned to Canada, please follow public health guidance for 14-days of self-isolation.

Libraries and Graduate Spaces

Selected libraries remain open, with limited hours, limited services, social distancing measures, and with access restricted to U of T users. For up to date information, please refer to the University of Toronto Libraries COVID-19 webpage. All University buildings will be closed as of 11:59 p.m., March 17, 2020 to the general public, members of the University community will need key or fob access to enter the buildings or present University identification to campus security. We advise all students to practice social distancing in line with the advice given by Public Health authorities. Please consider carefully how this advice applies to your own circumstances and adjust your routines accordingly.

Graduate Funding and TAships

Funded graduate students, including those on stipends, will continue to receive their funding packages as stated in their funding letters. Current TA contracts may need to be adjusted to reflect the fact that undergraduate courses are no longer in-person, but the overall number of hours allocated in the contracts will not be reduced.

Emergency Funds

If you are experiencing immediate financial hardship, you can apply for an SGS emergency loan or emergency grant. We are usually able to pay out emergency loans within 24-hours and emergency grants within one week.

SGS Student Services

SGS operations continue with modifications in how we deliver our services. We are now offering virtual and phone appointments in lieu of in-person appointments. Full updates are available at sgs.utoronto.ca/covid19.

Your Safety and Community Safety

The University’s response is guided by the need to ensure the health of our community and, as much as possible, the continuity of our graduate activities. If you feel compelled by anyone to do something that, under the circumstances, feels unsafe, please contact your graduate Chair immediately to seek resolution. You may also contact the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies directly at sgs.dean@utoronto.ca.

Accessibility

Graduate students registered with Accessibility Services should continue to contact Accessibility Services to receive accommodations and supports.

Monitoring COVID-19 Updates

We will update this SGS page regularly with important updates for U of T’s graduate community. Check the University of Toronto’s coronavirus updates and frequently asked questions pages for updates relevant to the whole U of T community, including links to travel advisories and public health guidance on self-isolation. It is also important to stay up to date with the advice provided by your department/Faculty .
We know this situation brings a whole new level of stress for everyone – and some will feel this harder than others. Please know that if you are struggling, there are excellent resources you can use. The University has a list of helpful Quick Links to health resources.

 

Sincerely,
Joshua Barker
Dean, School of Graduate Studies and
Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education

Departmental computer labs now available for remote access

March 17, 2020

Departmental labs have now had their PCs added for remote connections bringing the pool size to almost 800 PCs.

The ECF Remote Desktop website now includes the Departmental labs you would normally have access to. If you had ECF access during the term you should have access now.

    https://uoft.me/ecf-covid19

You cannot camp idly on a remote connection. The

       the system will eventually end your session. Please

       act responsibly.

Note: Not all ECE labs are included and BA3114 has had access reduced to just those take AER372S.

Student Services Office’s Response to COVID-19

March 16, 2020

We hope that you are keeping well during this tumultuous time.  We want to keep you updated on how we plan to keep supporting you in the coming days and weeks.

Considering recent recommendations from public health officials, we will be doing our part to help halt the spread of COVID-19.  Starting today, Monday March 16th, the Student Services Office  will be closed to in-person traffic.  However, we will still be connected and available to help you in the following ways:

  • You can still reach us by phone (416-978-3099) and by email (civinfo@ecf.utoronto.ca) during our normal business hours: 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.* on weekdays (*4:30 p.m. closing time during July & August summer office hours).
  • If you know who you need to speak to, please see their contact information below.
  • If the matter is urgent, you may contact Nelly Pietropaolo directly by email.

If you are feeling unwell with cold, flu, or respiratory symptoms, please refer to the Ontario government’s COVID-19 self-assessment page for the appropriate steps. If you are in need of medical care, you are encouraged to call your health care provider in advance of your visit. As a student, you have access to the Health & Wellness Centre, and if you are feeling distressed you can access many mental health resources including My SSP.

This is a unique, unprecedented, and challenging time.  Please remember that we care, and that we all remain committed to helping you through the coming days and weeks, and the remainder of your year.  We will keep you posted with any new developments as they occur.

Student Services Contact Information during COVID-19 related disruptions

March 16, 2020

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