Emily Carr University of Art + Design transitions to online instruction and cancels convocation ceremonies

President Gillian Siddall calls it an "extraordinary situation in what has already been a challenging year"

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      Another B.C. postsecondary institution has decided to reduce face-to-face contacts on campus.

      Tonight, the president of Emily Carr University of Art + Design announced that the school will transition to online instruction on Monday (March 16) for the rest of the term.

      Emily Siddall also stated in an open letter to the ECU community that convocation and the popular grad exhibition, called the Show, will be cancelled

      In addition, supervised shops and technologies will be closed this weekend as the university assesses safety protocols. Labs, studios, media resources, and classroom technical support will stay open.

      "Faculty will work with students to facilitate the completion of courses through other means, including online platforms and other technologies," Siddall wrote.

      The decision was made based on the advice from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Earlier today, UBC and SFU made similar announcements that they are also transitioning away from face-to-face instruction and moving instruction online.

      Emily Carr University of Art + Design offers 11 undergraduate degrees, two graduate degrees, and a jointly offered Master of Digital Media, as well as year-round certificate programs.

      Gillian Siddall says the university did not take the decision lightly to cancel convocation ceremonies.

      Today, another 11 positive tests for COVID-19 were recorded in the Vancouver Coastal region, bringing the B.C. total to 64 cases.

      "Emily Carr University's top priority is the safety and well-being of our community," Siddall stated.

      She described this as "an extraordinary situation in what has already been a challenging year at Emily Carr".

      That reference to an arson attack on campus last October, which led to charges being laid against 40-year-old Nathan MacLeod.