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University of Regina: caring for each other, our students, and the community

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: March 25, 2020 12:00 p.m.

Many hardworking University of Regina students are left with little income as the COVIID-19 pandemic has meant little access to the part-time jobs that normally fund life’s necessities while they are in school.
Many hardworking University of Regina students are left with little income as the COVIID-19 pandemic has meant little access to the part-time jobs that normally fund life’s necessities while they are in school. stock image

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed is the way our community supports the University of Regina and our hardworking students. 

Internally, faculty and staff from every single facet of the University have rallied to ensure that students have access to their classes through distance delivery and the support they need to continue their education in these challenging times. While the University remains open, most employees are working remotely, continuing their vital work in support of post-secondary education throughout the province of Saskatchewan and beyond. 

While everyone adjusts to the challenges these days present, focus on our students must remain our top priority. 

“So many of our hardworking students  - some of whom hold down not just one, but several part-time jobs – have had their hours cut or no longer have those jobs to go to at all” says Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. “They are struggling to put food on the table, never mind find the funds to continue with their studies.”

For the past five years, President Timmons and her husband Stuart Mason have hosted the University’s Prairie Kitchen Party to raise money for emergency funds for students who need immediate financial assistance for life’s necessities. Many of our students with families need extra support when crisis strikes and they are caught trying to decide between buying diapers for little ones or continuing their studies. 

Vianne Timmons

Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and
Vice-Chancellor, whose leadership
throughout the past 12 years has
placed the University of Regina in a
leadership role within Canada, to
become head of Memorial University
in April. Photo: U of R Photography

Every year, the community has rallied and provided those much-needed funds through their donations to the University’s Student Emergency Fund, supporting our students when they need it most. 

This year, of course, is different. COVID-19 means that we are self-isolating and practicing social/physical distancing. While those are necessary to flatten the COVID-19 curve, gatherings like the 6th annual Prairie Kitchen Party, slated for May 9, have to be cancelled. That cancellation has left the Student Emergency Fund precariously low on funds when our students are most in need vital support. 

So, University of Regina fundraising has gone virtual – taking the appeal for the Student Emergency Fund online! We’re asking members of the community to stand together to ensure that our students can focus more on their studies and less on how they will scrape together money for groceries or to cover the rent.

To give to the U of R Student Emergency Fund, visit www.urgiving.ca/emergency. 

Not only was the Prairie Kitchen Party cancelled due to COVID-19; the President, out of concern for the community, cancelled the March 20 Farewell Event that was to be held in her honour. Tributes from University and community leaders, as well as students and friends of the University that would have been shared that night, have been captured in a video that will be presented to Dr. Timmons before she begins her new role as President and Vice-Chancellor at Memorial University. 

“I’m so sorry that we could not get together before I left the University and the community Stuart and I have called home for the past 12 years,” said Dr. Timmons. “Your support over the years has meant so very much to me and to our University, and I’ve seen the positive impact of your gifts first-hand many, many times.” 

Please consider giving to support the Student Emergency Fund today. 

“Such a gift would help ensure that our hardworking students can focus on their studies during these challenging times. Now, more than ever, our world needs their energy and ideas to help shape a brighter future for us all,” says Dr. Timmons. 

Watch a special video from Dr. Timmons.

Students whose lives and finances have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the Student Emergency Fund here.