Camosun expresses its sorrow and stands alongside the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc

Camosun College is horrified by the news that the remains of 215 children have been found in the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School, which sat on the traditional territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc. Our hearts go out to the families and communities who were and are directly affected by this news and by the original loss of their children. We are all affected. This affirms Camosun’s commitment to redressing the impact of our shared history. In memory of these children, Camosun flags on both campuses will be lowered.

Planning for September - a message to employees

Update: March 8, 2021

From Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College

It has been almost one year since we announced on March 14, 2020, the transition from face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery methods to support physical distancing. Since then, students have received the education and services they need to succeed and thrive because of your efforts and perseverance. Thank you for your ongoing commitment amid a very challenging time.

A lot of employees have been asking about plans for the months ahead. Some questions were answered in a letter from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to Presidents of public colleges and universities in B.C.

In the letter, Dr. Henry says that she and medical health officers in British Columbia “strongly support” a full and safe return to on-campus instruction and activities starting September 2021. Testing and contact tracing and other prevention and control measures are expected to be part of normal, ongoing life with COVID-19.

As Dr. Henry notes, the past 12 months have been a difficult and stressful time for students, faculty and staff. Camosun has taken direction from the Provincial Health Officer, the B.C. Government, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Island Health and WorkSafeBC to ensure the safety of our community, while remaining open.

statement from B.C.’s Advanced Education and Skills Training Minister Anne Kang emphasizes that the letter from the Provincial Health Officer is just the beginning of a process as the COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.s Post-Secondary Sector will be updated to ensure on-campus safety.

We are now looking at strategies to bring us all back safely noting that approximately 30 per cent of our courses already have some face-to-face components being delivered on campus or at partner locations through our Safe Start process. This will involve working with Island Health and WorkSafeBC to develop more detailed safety plans for Camosun College. While we are planning for a resumption of activities on campus, we are cognizant of the need to be prepared for the unexpected.

The letter from the Provincial Health Officer spells out the benefits for students of returning to in-person teaching, learning and activities. These include mental health and well-being, personal development and community cohesion through on-campus interactions.

We realize you may have questions and individual concerns about returning to campus. The college will be working through questions and concerns with more information to come in the weeks and months ahead

Thank you to everyone for your commitment, passion and resiliency. Please continue to look after yourself, each other and our community.

Useful Links:

Sherri Bell

Illustration of the COVID 19 virus

COVID-19 updates

Past updates detailing Camosun College's response to COVID-19.

Contact information

Rodney Porter

Executive Director, Communications and Marketing

Camosun College