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COVID-19

PACBIC STATEMENT ON COVID-19 AND BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

Within our diverse community, PACBIC recognizes that persons who are racialized, who are living with a disability, and who have lower incomes may be most marginalized in the weeks and months ahead while efforts are made to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Mar 19, 2020

As the Province declares a state of emergency, the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) would like to reinforce President Farrar’s message to “take care of each other and our communities” (https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/articles/a-letter-from-our-president/).

PACBIC would like to reinforce and expand on the University’s call for inclusion and accessibility, and to remind community members of the related supports and resources available, which have been posted on the Equity and Inclusion Office website (https://equity.mcmaster.ca/news/an-inclusive-mcmaster-community).

Inclusion and Anti-Racism

History has shown that the onset of a pandemic is typically followed by a rise in xenophobia, as fear and misinformation contribute to racialized perceptions about these outbreaks. With the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the coronavirus transcends borders and spreads globally, persons of East Asian descent have been among those most impacted by racialized prejudice and hostility. This is most apparent in social media discourse but also experienced in person. Together with the University, PACBIC denounces this form of racism and urges community members to actively examine and interrupt xenophobia in our community. 

The Equity and Inclusion Office (equity@mcmaster.ca) is available to any community members who may be experiencing any harassment or discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, or ethnicity. 

 Accessibility and Accommodation

Within our diverse community, PACBIC recognizes that those who are immunocompromised, and/or living with anxiety, for example, may be particularly vulnerable. With respect to student academic success, PACBIC reinforces the University’s commitment to proactive accessibility measures and individualized accommodations where needed. McMaster’s MacPherson Institute has posted accessibility considerations for the academic community on their website (https://mi.mcmaster.ca/instructional-continuity/).

Students who require an academic accommodation may visit the Student Accessibility Services website (https://sas.mcmaster.ca/covid19/) for more information about supports available through the University’s COVID-19 response. 

Students requiring confidential mental health support may visit the Student Wellness Services website (https://wellness.mcmaster.ca/service-update-swc-remains-open/ ) for information on how to make an online or phone appointment or contact Good2Talk (https://good2talk.ca/) by calling 1-866-925-5454 or texting Text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Food Security and Financial Aid

PACBIC also recognizes that those who have lower incomes or are food insecure may experience additional barriers and burdens at this time. At this time, with the scaling back of student-led services, and the closure of the MSU Food Collective Centre, PACBIC encourages community members, who are able, to make a donation to Hamilton Food Share, and for those who may find themselves temporarily food insecure to visit the Hamilton Food Share website (https://www.hamiltonfoodshare.org/covid-19-update/), which lists the operating hours and adjusted protocols for various emergency food programs and food banks in the Hamilton area.

The McMaster Student Union (MSU) continues to offer a limited range of support services to students during this difficult time. Among the services available is the Emergency Bursary Fund for students experiencing financial need. For updated information on the services available to students through the MSU, visit: https://www.msumcmaster.ca/posts/1063. Students are also invited to visit the Office of the Registrar website for general financial information (https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/covid-19/#tab-6) or for information on available emergency financial support (https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/aid-awards/emergency-financial-support/). Some examples of necessities which may be subsidized with some emergency funds might include: groceries, cleaning supplies, medications, cell phone top up, and rent subsidy, for example.

PACBIC Contacts

Campus community members experiencing additional marginalization as a consequence of changing circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may confidentially share their experiences or seek out support by emailing pacbic@mcmaster.ca or one of the current Chairs, Working Group leads or EIO resource persons listed below.

PACBIC Priorities & Planning Committee

PACBIC Chairs

Working Group Conveners

Disability, Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, Neurodiversity Working Group (DIMAND)

First Nations, Métis & Inuit Priorities (FNMI)

Interfaith Issues

Gender and Sexualities (GS)

 Race, Racialization & Racism (R3)