The University of Victoria (UVic) has instructed professors not to punish students who miss class due to illness amid the evolving COVID-19 situation.
On March 5, UVic announced that instructors had been asked to waive the doctor’s note requirement for students who are out sick for less than two weeks. Students are advised to stay home and away from others if they’re feeling ill.
The university says this strategy was initiated to prevent the spread of the virus if a member of the university community falls ill and to avoid having people attend clinics for the sole purpose of getting a medical note.
UVic says that while there are currently no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, the university is following the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The university launched it’s COVID-19 information website on March 4 to provide students and staff with information about the virus, travel tips, advice for those who have symptoms and other resources.
We have created a website to provide the UVic community with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, including:
• tips for staying healthy
• information for travellers
• resources for students, faculty and staff.
— UniversityOfVictoria (@uvic) March 5, 2020
A statement about treating every member of the campus community with respect was included at the bottom of the homepage.
UVic states that “no person should be targeted in any way or subjected to discrimination resulting from a misplaced perception that they may be a carrier of a communicable disease based on their perceived disability, race, ancestry, place of origin or otherwise.”
Anyone who experiences harassment is asked to report the behaviour. If someone fears for their safety, the university recommends calling 911 or Campus Security Services at 250-721-7599. For reporting after the fact, the Equity and Human Rights office can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-721-8786.