This page provides information about Quest’s response to Covid-19 for staff, students, and faculty. We are doing our part to mitigate the risks and effects of widespread infection and are responding to a quickly evolving situation. Below are key points about changes at Quest as well as public health guidelines and links to resources.
It has been nearly three months since we closed campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the world has changed. The virus made us pull together and alter our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. More recently, the killing of George Floyd was a horrific reminder of one of the gravest problems in society: racialized violence and a power hierarchy that consistently dehumanizes people based on skin colour, speech, and presumed background. While devastating, I hope that these events will lead to true change. It is well past time. As I reflect on the future of our university, I know Quest can and must be part of that change.
Quest is at a turning point. In May, we received an extension of our CCAA status, and we are thankful for that. As you know, we are in negotiations with several proponents to find a sustainable path forward for our university. We have funding and court protection against our lenders until the end of September. For the Fall term, we will begin with remote learning and shift to in-person instruction once it is safe to do so. Uncertainty can be a challenge. I know how uncomfortable it is for students to be unsure of what will happen to their plans to continue their education. I know how concerned staff and faculty are about their jobs and their futures.
Like all of you, however, I believe in what we strive to do at Quest. I believe in our program because I see its results every day. Our alumni are living testimony of the power of the liberal arts, Quest style. Our students and faculty showed their mettle in the earliest days of this pandemic, shifting to remote learning and remaining deeply engaged with each other. The Class of 2020 produced amazing Keystones in virtual mode with very little notice. Our staff kept things running smoothly, and our IT team made the transition seamless. I am proud to know each of you, and I am proud to be at this ground-breaking university.
But we need to become better. A university is about more than academics. In keeping with the principles that underpin the liberal arts, we must never waver from what truly matters: creating a world in which all persons are respected and can live free of fear, discrimination, and violence. As president of Quest, I am stating unequivocally that social justice must be at the very core of what we contribute to society. Too often we can stray from this path, caught up in our daily tasks. Our campus must be an example and a haven, a place where all persons are welcome and safe — a place that has no tolerance for racism, both subtle and overt, or any other form of discrimination against marginalized populations.
As Quest’s founders did when they created our program, we must lead rather than follow. I wish to see our curriculum become truly diverse, delivered by faculty from a range of backgrounds to students from every corner of the world, supported by staff who offer a mosaic of perspectives. I wish to see us play a leading role in Truth and Reconciliation, and acknowledge what it really means to sit on this ancestral, unceded territory. I wish for Quest to fulfill its promise in tangible ways — from intellectual to societal. We do not know exactly what Quest will look like down the line. But we can state our intent, and we can commit ourselves to fighting for what’s both necessary and right.
BC is gradually reopening now. Summer is around the corner. We are emerging from isolation. And Quest will soon emerge from its restructuring process. It is a time of renewal. Let us view this as an opportunity, and aspire to lead the way to a better future.
George Iwama, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor
June 9, 2020
- There is some debate on whether the coronavirus is airborne and, if so, whether that is one of the routes of infection. The science on this virus keeps evolving. Public health officials are advising caution even as the province gradually begins reopening. BC is currently in Phase 3. Stay up to date on BC’s Restart Plan.
- Keystone Symposium and Showcase are posted as videos on our homepage, where you’ll also find congratulatory messages to the Class of 2020!
- If you need help or if you can help others (e.g, with supplies, masks, groceries, other assistance), visit the Sea-to-Sky Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group created by a visiting tutor, tobias c. van Veen.
- The US-Canada land border is closed to all but essential travel and may remain closed for an extended period. International students are able to enter Canada and are expected to honour the Quarantine Act.
- Travel restrictions are in place for people who exhibit symptoms.
ACADEMICS AND EVENTS
- We will begin the Fall term with remote learning, due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus.
- We will transition to in-person learning when it’s safe to do so, in accordance with public health advice.
- Field and lab activities are suspended for now.
- Please monitor your emails for updates from the CAO.
RESIDENCES AND CAMPUS
- In March, students were asked to leave campus. This was essential for de-densifying the area. Exemptions have been granted on a case-by-case basis. If you remain at Quest, it should be because you have no other reasonable option.
- The RecPlex is closed.
- The Academic Building is not accessible to students. The Services Building is closed. The Library Building is accessible to students during limited hours for mail (10am-2pm).
- There is no meal service or retail food available on campus.
- If you must remain at Quest, do not bring guests to campus.
- Monitor your emails for updates from Student Life and Facilities.
STAFF AND FACULTY
- We ask that you try not to have packages shipped to campus, as we have limited ability to sort.
- Staff are telecommuting. We will transition to more on-campus work when it’s safe to do so, but will be respectful of individual circumstances.
- If you are planning to work in your office, please let HR know by Monday of that week. This is to prevent any high density workspaces and to determine cleaning requirements.
- If you are returning from travel outside Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days as per the federal Quarantine Act; get in touch with your supervisor or HR if you need guidance on working from home, and ask IT for tech support if needed.
- If you are sick, Quest will not require any doctor’s notes at this time.
- Staff and faculty have received emails with updates from Quest’s extended health insurance provider (Equitable). The most recent travel policy update was emailed to Quest employees on July 10.
- Please monitor your Quest email for updates.
- We will email the Quest community with updates.
- Please bookmark this page. We will do our best to keep it current, but things can change quickly.
Covid-19 symptoms include a dry cough, fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have symptoms, or suspect you’ve been exposed:
- Isolate immediately.
- Use BC’s self-assessment tool to determine if you need further assessment or testing.
- After using the assessment tool, follow the instructions. If you are still unsure of how to proceed call 811 (HealthLinkBC).
- You can be tested for the coronavirus at the Squamish Hospital.
- Please fill out the confidential form on the Portal.
Covid-19 self-assessment tool
Info sheet for students with a guard.me policy (March 6)
Revised Equitable Life policy on travel coverage (March 17)
Toll-free Government of Canada info line: 1.833.784.4397