UBC Civil Engineering and COVID19: Updates, Resources and FAQ

Updated April 6, 2020 – 2:00 pm. PDT

For the latest information on UBC’s response to COVID-19, please visit the following resources:

UBC’s response: https://covid19.ubc.ca

UBC Faculty of Applied Science’s response: https://apsc.ubc.ca/covid-19

Student resources: https://students.ubc.ca/covid19

Graduate student resources: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/covid-19

To support UBC’s social distancing protocols, a number of Civil Engineering staff and faculty will be working remotely. The Student Services Office and the Administrative Office will be closed. Both offices are fully available online, so please do not hesitate to email us! 

Administrative Office

Online Hours: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, Monday to Friday

Finance: res-accounts@civil.ubc.ca

Human Resources: adminsupport@civil.ubc.ca

General Inquiry: info@civil.ubc.ca

Student Services Office

Online Hours: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, Monday to Friday

Kali Dumbrell, Undergraduate Support: undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca

Kevin Veltheer, Graduate Support: gradsupport@civil.ubc.ca

Chris Gorczynski, Manager, Student Services: studentservices@civil.ubc.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a student. How does COVID-19 impact my in-person classes? 

As of Monday, March 16, all Civil Engineering undergraduate and graduate courses have transitioned online for the remainder for the term. Each professor will reach out either through Canvas or email to inform you on how they plan to carry out the rest of the semester. 

What could online learning include?

While efforts will be made to hold live online lectures, this might not be feasible for all classes. Distance learning may include other formats, such as providing students with reading materials and other learning resources, uploading presentations and/or recordings of lectures on Canvas, online group chats and online team meetings, etc. Instructors will individually decide which formats fit their course best and will communicate with you accordingly.

What is happening with final exams? 

Final exams will not take place in-person. Professors will be making individual decisions on how examinations will take place in their courses. Once a decision has been made, they will inform you either via Canvas or email. 

Will CIVL 235 run as scheduled, from Apr 30-May 13?

No. In light of UBC’s response to COVID-19, we are no longer able to offer CIVL 235 as scheduled. Instead, the course will be delivered over the period August 24 to September 5, 2020, inclusive. If you are registered, we will transfer your registration to the new time. The current default is that CIVL 235 will be delivered in August as a fieldwork course, although it is possible that it may be offered online, depending on UBC’s requirements relating to online learning at that time. You may also elect to postpone your participation in the course from August 2020 to May 2021.

I am an undergraduate student and want to travel home. Am I able to?

Yes! As of March 16, UBC announced that all UBC students planning to travel home may now do so. This includes all undergraduate international and domestic students. Final exams will not take place in person and any other work that requires you to be physically on campus has been suspended. 

I am a graduate student and I would like to travel home. Can I?

As per the official UBC announcement on March 16, 2020, before making any arrangements to return home, please speak to your academic advisor(s) to verify program adjustments before making travel plans. 

Will I be able to finish my program and graduate on time?

We will make every effort to support you to finish your program and graduate on time. We anticipate with courses going online, completion and graduation dates will remain the same. If there are any changes related to this, we will communicate with you as early as possible.

Is UBC cancelling graduation ceremonies?

In response to the evolving nature of COVID-19, and provincial directives regarding events and mass gatherings, UBC has made the difficult decision to celebrate Spring 2020 Graduation virtually, instead of in-person. Planning for these virtual graduation ceremonies is underway. To learn more about what this speificially means, please click here

I currently live on campus. Can I stay? 

Residences and most services for students remain open. Students in residence who wish to stay, may do so.

Are UBC libraries still open? 

UBC Library branches across the Vancouver campus will close temporarily as of Friday, March 20 at 5pm. Library hours have been reduced and some locations are already closed. If you plan to visit before March 20 at 5pm, please refer to library hours portal before visiting. 

Are any UBC students, faculty or staff reported to be confirmed cases?

UBC is currently not aware of any cases amongst students, faculty and staff, both within BC or abroad. In the event of a confirmed case, information will be provided to the public by the relevant health agency, according to their protocols.

All of this is stressful. What options do I have for additional support?

We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty with these changes and many students may develop feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation. All of these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control.  We encourage you to visit any of the resources below that can help guide your mental health:

Taking care of your mental health during the pandemic

Psychology Today: How to stay emotionally healthy during the coronavirus outbreak

Canadian Mental Health Association: Coronavirus-managing stress and anxiety 

Foundry BC: Tips for when the news stresses you out

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health

UBC Counselling Services: Students can call at 604-822-3811 to schedule an appointment by phone 

EmpowerMe: A mental health and wellness service that provides counselling to students either in person, over the phone, or virtually (1-844-741-6389; 24/7 hours)

MindhealthBC: Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns 

CrisiscentreBC: If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time (1-800-784-2433; 24/7 hours)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UBC’s response

Countries around the world, including Canada, are working to contain the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the public health risk associated with the virus. However, it is important to state that UBC does not currently have any confirmed cases amongst its faculty, staff and student community.

Within British Columbia, Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are leading the coordinated response to COVID-19. UBC continues to take direction from the BC Provincial Government as we plan and consider next steps.

As of March 12, 2020, The Office of the Provincial Medical Health Officer, BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Health has advised the following:

-Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have travelled outside Canada (including the United States) after March 12 should stay home or self-isolate in their residence*/room alone for 14 days, immediately on their return. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
-Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been laboratory tested for COVID-19 should stay home or self-isolate in their residence*/room alone, until their test results are known.
-Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should stay home or self-isolate in their residence*/room alone for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
-This does not apply to travellers who have returned to Canada up to or before March 12. (Previous mandated self-isolation requirements for travellers returning from Hubei Province, China, Iran, and Italy remain in effect.)
-Those who develop symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period should immediately self-isolate (stay in a room that is not shared with anyone else) and call their healthcare provider or the provincial health line at 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up.
*If a student resides in a Student Housing & Community Services (SHCS) residence with roommates where self-isolation may not be feasible, they should contact SHCS to inquire if an alternate option may be available at information@housing.ubc.ca

A new toll-free phone line has also been established for Canadians (1 833 784 4397) to answer general questions about COVID-19.

To find out more about UBC’s response, click here