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COVID-19 – CASWE-ACFTS Conference 2020, AGM and Constituency Group Meetings

April 1, 2020 – The Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences made the decision to cancel its face-to-face Congress at Western University in June 2020 and move to a virtual event. After careful consideration, the CASWE-ACFTS Board of Directors has decided not to participate in the virtual Congress and to cancel the Association Conference for 2020.

There are many reasons for this decision including concerns about the online capacities, the effect on the quality of presentations, as well as serious concerns related to the virtual platform’s ability to allow for meaningful engagement on the Conference theme. The Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) in particular voiced important concerns regarding an online Congress and the CASWE-ACFTS Board of Directors stands in solidarity with the BCSA in its decision to withdraw from Congress.

The Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences will be processing refunds in the weeks to come and will send out confirmation emails once this step is completed.

The Board of Directors recognizes the amount of work that has gone into the planning process by the Local Planning Committee from the School of Social Work from King’s University College at Western, lead by Dr. Peter Donahue, and the Conference Planning Committee. The Board would also like to thank all those who submitted abstracts for presentations and those who reviewed them. We are grateful to each of you for your time and involvement.

We are currently exploring ways to further engage our membership in the year ahead and will have news to share with you on this very topic soon.

What will this decision mean for the AGM and Constituency Group meetings?

AGM
We have a legal obligation to move forward with our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Given the uncertainty in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic’s effect on business in the months to come, the Board of Directors has decided to hold the AGM online on June 3rd. We are currently exploring platforms to enable a virtual AGM and will share these details with you, as well as all required documents, in the weeks to come. The call for nominations for election to the Board of Directors will be circulated to members this week.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind Schools to submit the names of their Institutional Delegates to Houssein Charmarkeh, at charmarkeh@caswe-acfts.ca, if they haven’t already done so.

Constituency Group Meetings
We are asking our Constituency Groups to hold their meetings online. Association staff will help to schedule and run these meetings. More information will follow in the weeks to come.

What about my membership renewal?

Membership
In order to participate in the Annual General Meeting, as well as Constituency Group meetings, your individual membership must be renewed. The membership period runs from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. The deadline to renew your membership is June 1, 2020. (Click here to renew your membership.)

Other details to consider. . .

Hotel Bookings
If you made an individual reservation for your conference stay at any hotel, we ask that you contact the hotel directly to cancel your reservation.

Bookings made for our Constituency Groups at the Ivey Spencership Leadership Centre (under the CASWE-ACFTS block) have been cancelled, including those made on behalf of the Deans and Directors.

Bookings for the Field Education Block at the Park Hotel have been cancelled.

Travel Plans

If you haven’t already done so you should cancel your flight, train and/or car rental reservations.

Again, we thank you for your patience as we work through the challenges this pandemic continues to raise and we will keep you informed as we have more information to share.

Wishing you well during this challenging time,

Stéphane Grenier, PhD, RSW
President, CASWE-ACFTS

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