Trent University, Fleming College suspend classes, events due to coronavirus concerns

Fleming College and Trent University have suspended classes at all of their respective campuses. Steve Guthrie/Global News Peterborough

Trent University and Fleming College in Peterborough have suspended classes, citing the evolving novel coronavirus pandemic.

Both post-secondary institutions made their respective announcements on Friday morning.

In an email to students and staff, Trent University president Leo Groarke said classes at the school’s Peterborough and Oshawa campuses are suspended as of Friday morning.

The university plans to deliver classes online or through other “alternative” means of delivery beginning March 18, Groarke added.

Groarke also said all events will be cancelled until further notice, including sporting and athletic events, conferences, receptions, end-of-year celebrations and other events.

All university-sponsored travel outside of Canada has also been suspended.

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“Anyone currently abroad on university-sponsored travel, or planning such travel, should contact their dean, faculty member, home department or Trent International for advice and support,” he stated.

Groarke added that Trent campuses, offices and residences will remain open and other operations will continue.

He said examinations are currently scheduled and that the approach to delivery and scheduling for exams will be communicated when that information is fully available.

“We ask for your patience and understanding as we deal with these evolving circumstances,” he said.

“We all look forward to the day when the issues with COVID-19 abate. In the meantime, we will do our utmost to ensure the health and safety of our community.”

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At Fleming, president Maureen Adamson said all classes at all its campuses in Peterborough, Lindsay, Haliburton and Cobourg, as well as at learning sites, would be suspended effective from noon on Friday to Tuesday, March 18.

Any exams or assignment due dates between noon on Friday and Wednesday, March 18 will be rescheduled, Adamson said.

“This period of time will allow faculty, staff and administration time to prepare to deliver course content in alternative ways,” she stated.

Beginning March 18, and for the remainder of the winter semester, which runs until April 17, Fleming will offer classes online or through “alternative” delivery formats.

All campuses, college buildings and residences will remain open, Adamson said

“Students can access our campuses, but if they do not need to, they are encouraged to study from home,” she stated. “Students should continue to attend their placements unless other arrangements have been made by the college or the employer.”

Adamson said the college is taking the precautions to “maintain a safe and healthy community.”

“While we recognize that these actions will create uncertainty and inconveniences, we will do our best to answer any questions you have as soon as possible,” she said.

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