Last updated: 3 August, 2020, 5:00pm
Greetings to you on behalf of the Executive team,
Just when we THINK we know what’s going to happen, things change once again. How deeply we feel for all of you, trying to navigate your ways through your studies in the ebb and flow of government restrictions.
While there is a lot we still do not know, and are waiting for more details from the government about higher education delivery, what we CAN confirm is that we will not be able to offer face to face classes at MST, or Eastern College, for the next 6 weeks.
We are hoping, praying, and tentatively planning that this period of Stage 4 lockdown will do its job, and perhaps enable us to re-adjust again later in the Semester. We will obviously keep you all updated, as we have sought to do so far, and will provide more information on some other things, such as library and book access, before the end of this week.
In the meantime, be assured of our continued prayers for you, and deep commitment to serving you as best we possibly can, in these difficult times. To borrow from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, written so long ago and yet so powerfully relevant to all us:
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Tim Meyers, Jude Long, Peter Tyrrell
MST & Eastern Executive Team
COLLEGE CHANGES AND DEVELOPMENTS
1. Will Semester 2 be online?
The MST Semester 2 Timetable is now available to view on the MST website – check it out here. There is a great range of units on offer from Bible and Theology to Apologetics, Christian Spirituality and Mission.
Due Dates for Semester 2 Intake:
Many of you are wondering, no doubt, about face-to-face classes and when we may return to a more ‘normal’ routine. We are hoping and planning to return to campus in Semester 2, with weekly classes and intensives delivered face-to-face. However, this is subject to the government’s COVID-safe guidelines, so these plans are yet to be confirmed. We will notify you as soon as we are confident of any planned changes.
Regardless, the SEMESTER 2 units on the timetable will be offered with adjustments to delivery mode as needed. If you plan to enrol in units with face-to-face components but have valid (COVID-19 related) reasons for not attending classes on campus, you will need to seek approval to be exempted from attendance requirements. Please send your request via email to Iona Kroussoratsky, Enrolment Coordinator (email@example.com) before enrolling in a unit. For students in such situations, we are working to provide you with remote access to lectures.
Of course, if we are permitted to return to campus, social distancing and extra hygiene measures will be in place for everyone’s safety and well-being.
Again, be assured of our ongoing commitment to support and serve you. Please feel free to write or call if you need any more information.
2. Online units now available for Audit at a low cost
Until now, online courses were not available to audit students. We have decided to change this. All relevant online courses at both MST & Eastern are currently available for audit, for a minimal fee of $100.
In response to the COVID-19 community transmission outbreak, the MST & Eastern Library has implemented a new temporary polices to keep everybody safe and healthy when accessing library services.
- Everyone must sign in and out when entering and leaving the library for contact tracing purposes.
- All individuals must practise physical distancing, abiding the four square meters rule, or 1.5 metres from each other in the library premises.
- All returned items will be cleaned with disinfectant and quarantined for 2 days before returning to the shelves for borrowing.
To support you as best as we can, the library remains open and the opening hours of the library will be extended, although on a highly restricted basis. Only currently enrolled students are permitted to access the library, and we are requiring strict adherence to all the social distancing and hygiene protocols that have already been implemented.
The extended library hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 9am – 8pm
Friday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm
We encourage you to make use of the online help that is available including e-mail support at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Two things to remember if you ARE on campus:
- Wherever you are on campus, please maintain a 4-metre square distance from other students.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Avoid physical contact, including handshakes.
- Maintain safe personal hygiene practices as indicated on campus.
- Wash your hands!!
- Hand sanitizers are available around campus.
We are here to support you!
Our team at the Centre for Theology & Psychology has created a flyer with a few guidelines and tips that will help us to cope with this new situation and perhaps even thrive and flourish in the midst of uncertain times. Read it HERE and be encouraged.
If you’re finding yourself struggling in any way please remember that we have people ready and available to virtually meet with you and pray with you.
Contact Community Life Coordinator, Sue Kimber, at email@example.com or
Eastern’s Counselling Courses Co-ordinator, Julie Morsillo, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
If you have study enquiries, please contact email@example.com
If you have any concerns about completing your assessments or studies in general, please contact our Dean of Studies, Delle Matthews, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We can grant extensions for students impacted by changes due to COVID-19.
Government news, updates and advice: https://www.australia.gov.au/
The latest information about the spread of COVID-19 and the steps being taken to slow the spread: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert