Western delays start of winter term and shifts to virtual classes

December 17, 2021 4:00 PM

To the Western, Brescia, Huron and King’s Communities, 

We continue to make decisions as quickly as we can, based on the information that we have about the shifting nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

What we know right now is that Omicron will continue to impact our region, and January may prove to be difficult in our community and across the country.  

We want to minimize this difficulty. 

We also want our students, staff and faculty to go into the winter break with as much certainty as possible about the winter term starting in January. 

After consultation with health experts and campus leaders, and with the approval of Western’s Senate, we are delaying the start of the winter term to January 10, 2022. Most classes will be virtual until January 31, 2022.  

A delayed start of classes will provide time for our faculty and staff to shift classes to virtual platforms, and to prepare to provide the best experience possible for our students 

The university will also remain closed for the holidays one day longerthan originally planned, reopening Tuesday, January 4, 2022 

Of course, we will continue to follow public health guidance and will adjust course accordingly. It is possible that we will need to extend the delivery of classes virtually beyond January 31. We certainly hope this is not the case. But if a change is necessary, we will communicate that as soon possible. 

Exceptions for in-person learning, teaching and working

Some professional programs and clinical learning in health sciences and medicine will begin in person for the winter term on January 4. Additional information, including details on clinical placements, will be forthcoming from those faculties who are affected 

Research activity will continue on campus and libraries will re-open January 4. Staff, faculty and graduate students continue to have access to campus, labs and offices.  

All Western community members remaining on campus must continue to wear three-layer non-medical masks, maintain physical distancing and keep in-person meetings small.  

Some staff will continue working remotely after the holiday break, with others working on campus to support students, campus operations and health and safety, following discussion with direct leaders.  

Students living in residence 

With these changes in mind, we are asking students to delay their return to residence, where possible, until in-person learning resumes on January 31. Students living in residence will receive more information in the next few days.  

International and exchange students 

International and exchange students arriving and returning to our community will receive more information and guidance in the coming days.  

Remain vigilant and stay healthy 

Please consider keeping your gatherings small over the winter break to minimize the impact to our community and the one you may be returning home to. We want every member of Western, Brescia, Huron and King’s – their friends and family included – to stay healthy.  

We know this is hard. The shift back to online learning, if only for a few weeks, is not our ideal scenario, but we hope this preemptive measure sets us up for success in seeing out the academic year.    

Together, we look forward to returning to the in-person campus experiences we all value. 

Sincerely, 

Alan Shepard, President & Vice-Chancellor 

Lauretta Frederking, President, Brescia University College 

Barry Craig, President, Huron University College 

David Malloy, President, King’s University College 

 

CONTACTS AND SUPPORTS  

For students:  

For employees:  

Additional COVID-19 resources for the campus community can be found on Western’s COVID-19 website and on the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s website.  

AFFILIATED UNIVERSITY COLLEGES  

For information about operations at the affiliated university colleges, please visit their respective websites: Brescia, Huron and King’s .