Students

Photo of students wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Information for the 2022 spring and summer terms

  • View the recent update on continued masking requirements on campus.
  • View the recent update on the return to learning.
  • Prior to each campus visit, students must complete the province’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine whether it is safe to visit.
  • Undergraduate students: If you are not able to complete your remote learning or attend campus for an in-person assessment or final exam, please contact your home Faculty Academic Counselling Office to request academic considerations. Students in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Education, Ivey Business School, and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies can request Academic Considerations via the usual process for your faculty.
  • Medical grade (ASTM level 3) masks must be worn by students who are required to be on campus. These masks must always be worn while indoors, as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Masks can be picked up at Western library locations.
  • Study areas have been set up across campus. Food and drink are permitted in these areas and masks may be removed only when seated for eating or drinking.

COVID-19 Vaccination requirement

All members of our community – including students, employees and visitors – are required to provide proof of vaccination to be on campus as part of the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy .  Students granted an exemption for medical or creed/religious beliefs are required to participate in Western’s COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program. Western’s  Vaccination and Testing Centre  is open and vaccinations and boosters continue to be available. 

Safety ambassadors help ensure COVID-19 protocols are being observed across campus. The university remains flexible, and will be ready to respond to any further direction from our public health partners.

Important Resources:

 

Student FAQ for Winter 2022 Return to Campus

For questions regarding Western's Vaccine Policy, please see vaccine FAQ's.

Vaccines, Testing, and Personal Protective Equipment

Will I be required to get a booster shot to be permitted to return to campus?

The University strongly recommends that you receive a booster shot prior to your return to campus. Those unable to access a booster shot where they are can also book an appointment at Western’s Vaccination and Testing Centre.

Where can I get a booster shot?

Booster shots will continue to be available at Western’s Vaccination and Testing Centre.

Will rapid tests be made available?

On February 9th, Ontario began distributing 5.5 million rapid antigen tests each week through pharmacy and grocery locations across the province, as well as through community partners in vulnerable communities, as part of a time-limited program. To learn more please visit the provincial government’s Rapid Testing for at-home use page

Based on guidance from the Middlesex-London Health Unit, rapid testing is available for high-risk settings on campus, and the majority of students do not participate in these activities.  Students who are currently part of a rapid testing program will continue to be able to access testing at Western’s Vaccination and Testing Centre.

Do I still need to fill out a return to campus questionnaire?

Western has recently aligned its self-assessment with the provincial tool. Individuals are asked to review and complete the Daily Return to Campus Self-Assessment each day they need to attend campus and follow the instructions provided.

If I am a close contact of someone with COVID-19, but have no symptoms, what is the recommended course of action and for how long?

Western has recently aligned its self-assessment with the provincial tool. Individuals are asked to complete the Daily Return to Campus Self-Assessment each day they need to attend campus. Please follow the direction given by the result of the assessment. Additional guidance is available at ontario.ca/exposed.

Will Western continue distributing masks to everyone who needs to be on campus?

Western is providing medical grade (ASTM Level 3) masks that must be worn by students and employees when on campus. These masks must always be worn while indoors, as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Students can pick up their new masks at Western libraries using their Western ONEcard when they return to campus. There are some exceptions for those learning in designated clinical or research areas where an N-95 mask is required and provided.

Return to In-Person Instruction

Have public health officials been consulted on Western's planned return to campus?

Yes, Western’s plan was developed in consultation with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and has its support. As always, the University takes direction from the MLHU as well as provincial and federal health officials, and will change direction if required.

Will food be available on campus?

Campus Eateries that were previously closed have since reopened. Designated study spaces that provide options for taking a nutritional break are also available throughout campus. All designated study spaces will follow current provincial guidelines including physical distancing requirements.

Ontario Hall, Saugeen-Maitland Hall and Medway-Sydenham dining halls are also open for students living in residence with pre-approved early arrivals.

Will food and drink be permitted in the classroom?

No.  Although water was permitted during December in-person examinations, that was in the context of exam seating arrangements. Seating in lectures is less controlled, and food and drink have not been approved in those settings.

What is the classroom occupancy limits for Winter 2022?

As with the Fall 2021 term, the Middlesex-London Health Limit has approved full classroom occupancy this term. Note that Western's strong COVID-19 vaccination requirement is still in effect, and we have upgraded to medical grade (ASTM Level 3) masks.

I’m not able to return to London for in-person classes. Can I continue online?

Students will need to make arrangements to be in London by the date specified for their courses to return to in-person delivery. Students with unavoidable delays should work with their academic counsellors and instructors to determine if short-term arrangements can be made. Instructors will not be asked to deliver courses in multiple formats, however.

I’m concerned about the risk of contracting COVID in an in-person class. Why can’t Western provide a hybrid option?

The guidance from local and provincial health officials has been consistent – classroom learning environments are considered low risk. We have also increased masking requirements to medical grade ASTM level 3, which must be worn by students and employees on campus.

Western University has been clear on its intention to deliver an in-person experience to the extent possible this term. In some cases, lecture materials may be available online. However, delivering courses in multiple formats would in many cases diminish the classroom experience and opportunity for experiential learning.

I live with an immunocompromised individual and am concerned that attending in-person classes will expose them to COVID-19.  Can I receive accommodations to continue my studies online?

Students with a medical condition that prevents them from attending in-person classes should consult Accessible Education to explore their accommodation options.  Accommodation may not be possible in all cases, given that in-person activities are in many cases essential course elements.  Accessible Education is not able to accommodate individuals other than the student, however.

What documentation will be required to obtain short-term academic considerations through my counsellors?

The mechanisms for requesting academic considerations remain unchanged: you have the option of submitting a request for a Self-Reported Absence or requesting academic considerations (medical or non-medical) from your Academic Counselling Office or Dean’s Office of your Faculty of Registration.

In keeping with our desire to avoid additional burden on the medical system, academic counsellors may at their discretion not require documentation for occasional, short-term absence requested through the academic considerations process. To preserve the integrity of our courses and ensure fairness to all students, medical documentation may be required for frequent absence or high-value assessments. 

What if I have an in-person class and a synchronous online first-year class back-to-back? I can’t make it back to my apartment in time.

Although first-year classes will remain online until February 28th, there will be a number of study spaces available for any students who need a place on campus to attend a synchronous online class. Additional quiet space suitable for non-interactive classes may be available in the Libraries.

Will I receive a tuition refund if I choose not to return this term?

The refund schedule for dropped classes is available on the Registrar’s website.

International students are encouraged to contact the International & Exchange Student Centre prior to withdrawing from a course.

Instructor and Student Absence

How will a student in an in-person class be notified of an instructor absence?

Students should check the course OWL announcements and monitor their University-issued email account for updates.

How will an in-person class proceed if the instructor is unavailable due to self-isolation or illness?

Instructors are preparing for this possibility. Available solutions will vary for different courses but may include:

  • continuation of in-person lectures by other faculty members and/or TAs
  • a temporary return to synchronous online instruction
  • posting asynchronous online lectures
  • assigning readings

I will not be able to attend in-person classes and assessments for at least five days due to COVID-19 symptoms and/or a directive to self-isolate. What do I do?

Undergraduate students: If you are required to self-isolate as a result of direction obtained from a COVID-19 Self-Assessment, please do so. If you are not able to complete your remote learning or attend campus for an in-person assessment or final exam, please contact your home Faculty Academic Counselling Office to request academic considerations.

Students in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Education, Ivey Business School, and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: If you require academic considerations because you cannot attend campus for a required in-person assessment or final exam due to illness or self-isolation, request Academic Considerations via the usual process for your faculty.

I have been required to self-isolate and have submitted my request to my academic counsellors, but I am not ill. Am I permitted to continue to work online?

Of course! We encourage students to continue their studies to the extent that they are able. You may not attend in-person classes, tutorials, or laboratories during your period of self-isolation, however.

I am an undergraduate student in a second-entry Faculty (e.g., Business, Education, Law), how do I report a need to self-isolate?

If the results of a COVID-19 Self-Assessment require you to self-isolate, you may send a request for academic considerations to your Dean’s Office, who will advise you on next steps.

First-Year Students

Why can’t first-year classes resume in-person instruction at the same time as senior classes?

A large proportion of first-year students live in residence and shared-living/congregate environments, which will not permit sufficient self-isolation in the event of an outbreak. In order to retain in-person instruction for as many students as possible, the decision was made to delay the return to in-person instruction for first-year courses on main campus.

When will first-year students be able to return to residence?

First-year students with in-person classes resuming in-person instruction on February 28th should expect to return to residence beginning Thursday, February 24th.

Those first-year students with in-person classes resuming on January 31st (e.g., senior courses or first-year courses at an Affiliate University College) will be approved for an early return to residence beginning January 27th.

I won’t be returning to my residence room until late February. How do I get a refund for the days I can’t use?

Students returning for the start of in-person classes on February 28th will receive prorated refunds covering the period when they could not access their residence room. These credits will appear on their Student Center accounts in March.

I’m a first-year student, but I have in-person upper-year classes beginning on January 31st. Do I need to attend?

Students registered in Year 1 who are enrolled in courses numbered 2000 and above will need to attend classes in the delivery mode specified in the course timetable. Aside from courses listed as online delivery, this will require their presence on campus.

I’m a first-year student on main campus but have courses at an Affiliate University College. Do I need to attend?

The Affiliate University Colleges will resume in-person instruction for all courses, including first-year courses, on January 31st. Main Campus students registered in such courses will be expected to attend in-person, unless informed otherwise by their instructor.