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Letter to the Minister of Higher Education


Dear Minister McCann,


In response to the desperate situation unfolding at Dawson College concerning in-person final examinations, we have decided to write to you today to ask that action be taken in this regard. The Dawson Student Union has firmly opposed this decision before both the college administration and the media. We kindly ask of you today that you hear our concerns.


Considering that the province of Quebec and the Greater Montreal area is currently under maximum alert, it is inconceivable to ask 3000 students of the College to attend in-person exams in Downtown Montreal, one of the highest centers for contamination. While we value academic integrity, it is impossible to think that these concerns are more significant than our

students' health.


After a calmer summer, the academic year's start was plagued by a widespread of Covid-19 cases in schools throughout our province. This is not a shock considering the number of students attending school every day. Though the problem is not just in the classrooms, it can also be traced to increased contacts in public transportation, the primary means of transportation for the vast majority of Dawson students. This, in our view, will expose thousands of students to the risk of contracting Covid-19 and needs to be taken into consideration.


We are also deeply concerned for our high-risk students, those suffering from a suppressed immune system and chronic medical conditions. We find this situation unjust since students are forced to make an impossible choice between putting their lives at risk and failing their academic semester. We are not only concerned about the physical well-being of the students but also their mental health. Attending in-person exams has a considerable impact on the mental well-being of our students.


Furthermore, in order to respect Legault's plan for authorized gatherings for the holidays, a seven day isolation period is necessary. Dawson is currently planning on holding exams from the 16th to the 23rd of December 2020; therefore, Dawson students will not be able to see their families during the holidays. For many, spending time with family during the holidays was something they have been looking forward to as an escape during these unprecedented times. According to Dr. Arruda, we will already see a rise of cases during this period due to the multiple contacts during the holiday season. With this in mind, the College's decision to hold in-person exams would aggravate and increase the possibility of outbreaks for so many.


We would like to thank our government for all the measures put in place since the start of this pandemic and would like to count on your support in this regard and ask that the College's decision be overturned. We would like for our members and students to remain safe in this trying period.


In the hopes that our student's concerns will be heard,


The Dawson Student Union






(PDF Format)

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(French PDF Format)

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3040 Sherbrooke West, Montreal QC H3Z 1A4

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