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The original deadline was this Friday. Photo: Rame Abdulkader

Deadline to withdraw from course without reimbursement pushed back two weeks to April 4

The University of Ottawa is pushing back the deadline for students to drop a course without impacting their transcript (but with no financial reimbursement) by two weeks amid campus closures and the transition to an online semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We understand that the current transition to online courses may be causing delays in you receiving grades and feedback for your courses,” the Office of the Registrar wrote in an email to students on Thursday.

The deadline to drop courses has now been moved from Friday to April 4. The last day to withdraw from a course and receive a financial reimbursement was Jan. 31. 

“The well-being of our students is our biggest priority and we hope this will help alleviate some of the stress many of you may be experiencing during this unparalleled time,” wrote the Office Office of the Registrar.

The office said students who do not officially withdraw by the April 4 deadline but stop completing coursework will receive an EIN (failure/incomplete) mark on their transcript. Students can drop a course through uoZone or submit a modification/cancellation of enrollment to their faculty or academic unit. 

However, the Office of the Registrar warns that if a student’s academic status changes from full-time to part-time due to dropped courses, they may no longer be eligible for financial aid or may be unable to renew scholarships. 

“Be sure to consider the consequences of withdrawing from a course carefully,” the office wrote. “Withdrawal could also affect your ability to meet your program requirements.”

The U of O cancelled classes and labs this past Monday and Tuesday and shifted the remainder of the semester online on Wednesday.

U of O president Jacques Frémont said exams will not be taken in person and plans are being developed for the exam period. All university-related travel by U of O students and staff is prohibited until further notice, while faculty travel is “strongly discouraged.” 

Most food services on campus have closed, along with all libraries and athletics/recreation facilities.

U of O Health Services has also updated its protocol for medical notes and has shifted most appointments to phone calls for this week.  

Clinical placements for nursing and medical students have been suspended and counselling services have shifted online.

The U of O says everyone but international students and those with “exceptional circumstances” must leave residence by Sunday evening

As of Thursday, there are 16 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. The two latest cases are a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s, who both contracted the virus through travel and are now self-isolating.

The city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says “there could now be hundreds to even a thousand cases in the community now.”

Across the province, there have been two deaths from COVID-19 and at least 251 confirmed cases of the virus as of Thursday, with five labelled as resolved. There have been at least 736 confirmed cases of the virus and nine deaths in Canada.

COVID-19 has infected more than 222,000 people and killed over 9,000 globally since emerging in China in December 2019. There have been over 84,000 recoveries from the virus.

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