Western News: Western plans return to in-person classes this September

February 26, 2021 7:30 PM

Western’s plans to resume in-person classes in the fall are coming into clearer focus.

“We expect to return to face-to-face instruction, and more of the on-campus experiences we all love, this coming September,” said President Alan Shepard. “We know this question has been top of mind for our current students and for new students considering Western.

“As vaccines become more readily available over the spring and summer and as the Western community continues to remain vigilant both on and off campus, we’re increasingly confident of these plans.”

Residences will again be open this fall. Lambton Hall, an upper-year student apartment, will be converted into a suite-style residence for first-year students, which will bring Western’s total number of residences to 10 and help the university fulfill its guarantee of residence space to all first-year students who want it.

“Western is a strong community that brings our students both transformative academic and social experiences alongside life-long friendships and professional networks,” said Shepard.

Shepard acknowledged the heroic efforts of faculty and staff to pivot and innovate over the past year in response to the pandemic.

“Moving rapidly and successfully to remote work and online instruction allowed us to see there are some benefits to these new approaches. As we plan for the fall, we’ll be looking at ways to incorporate the best of what we’ve learned into the curriculum and into our work where it makes the most sense.”

Shepard added that the health and safety of the campus community remains Western’s top priority.

“We will continue to consult with our campus leaders and work in lockstep with Middlesex-London Health Unit officials to ensure campus is a safe place for everyone.

“While we may not be able to predict with absolute certainty what the COVID-19 situation will be like in the fall, our community will provide the engaging experience our students and their families value – all in a research and learning environment that everyone expects of a world-class university like Western.”