University can be a challenge at the best of times. Now, with most classes being held online, University of Winnipeg (U of W) students are faced with unprecedented – and often difficult – learning circumstances. The Webinar Wednesdays series, organized by U of W Student Services, attempts to provide support and advice for students.
Every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. from Oct. 21 to Dec. 9, U of W staff will present via Zoom on various topics, ranging from student groups to meditation to career planning. Advance registration is required, though the events are free.
Inga Johnson Mychasiw, U of W’s director of Student Support Services, believes this is an important initiative to help students.
“Webinar Wednesdays are designed to include useful information, as well as help students be more aware of services we offer in Student Services,” she says in an email to The Uniter.
“We want to acknowledge both the benefits and challenges of remote learning and help students feel more connected to the University of Winnipeg and each other.”
“Students who are struggling in this environment of remote learning are encouraged to reach out to their instructors and to Student Services,” she says, adding that “students have been reaching out to us in high volumes over the last few months, and we hope they continue to do so.”
Cheng Zhang, a student and representative of the U of W Chinese Student Association, says that though these are challenging times for students, the university has overall done a good job over the past few months.
“The university’s reaction as well as how they’ve adapted campus services has been very good,” he says. Zhang also strongly agrees with the university’s decision to hold the winter term online.
International students, especially, are facing significant challenges, Zhang says.
“The students who chose to go back (to their home countries), they still have class, so they have to take their class at about 3 or 4 a.m.,” he says, referring to some of his classmates who returned to China.
Despite everything going on, Johnson Mychasiw hopes that Student Services can help students through initiatives like Webinar Wednesdays.
“It is an unusual time for everyone, but we are still here for students, and we still care about them and their academic success,” she says.
The Nov. 4 session covers “Accommodations for Students with Disabilities or Medical Conditions,” the Nov. 18 session will discuss the “Final Drop Date and End of Term Tips,” and the Nov. 25 session will present “Meditation for Grounding and Relaxation.” The two December presentations are entitled “Exploring Career Options and Gaining Relevant Experience During Your Studies” and “Preparing for Winter Term.”
For more information on Webinar Wednesdays, including registration, visit bit.ly/3dRee1L
Published in Volume 75, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 29, 2020)