We asked Interim Deputy Provost Nadia Hardy when faculty members might be able to gain access to their office. This was her response:
“The Quebec government recently delayed the opening of stores in the Montreal area until at least the week of May 18th. No office buildings – (companies or institutions) are scheduled to be open anytime soon. It remains frustrating that access to campus offices is restricted for now. This situation continues to present a challenge for faculty members for various reasons including: a less than ideal home workspace, technology limitations, interruptions from family members and possibly not having access to key files and books. Working from home over the past 8 weeks has been difficult for everyone.
In mapping scenarios for a gradual return to campus, the health and safety of the entire Concordia community has been prioritized. A key element of health and safety is aligning our own policies with the public health directives being received from the Quebec government – in particular on the island of Montreal. In line with these directives, we continue to restrict access to SGW and Loyola campuses, including offices and classrooms, in an effort to ensure that we are able to implement the substantial cleaning protocols mandated for any organization the size of Concordia.
Planning a return to campus is not simply about physical distancing; we must ensure that any space that has been occupied is cleaned after use – this is particularly important for classrooms, washrooms and other public spaces.
Even if only a few individuals from any one department require access to campus, the reality is that there are 52 departments and schools at Concordia. Many of these share floors, and all of them share a small number of access points (doors, elevators, escalators, etc.) – the numbers begin to add up fairly quickly and social distancing guidelines become increasingly difficult to maintain.
We understand that access to resources is of high importance to faculty preparing to teach in the summer and fall terms; we also understand that many of our faculty would be more productive working from their offices than they might be from their homes. We are exploring scenarios where we would be able to give faculty members limited access to their offices to retrieve materials vital to their teaching and research. However, we must continue to carefully restrict access to university spaces until we are confident that any access is safe and that we are not jeopardizing the health of the members of our community as a whole.”