Return to in-person learning

January 14, 2022 1:00 PM

To the Western community, 

We hope the start of the winter term has gone well this week. As promised in our last update, we are writing to provide more information on the return to in-person learning this term.  

Simply put, we want to bring students back to campus safely as soon as possible – and to do so in a way that enables us to remain on campus for the rest of the winter term. We are hopeful that a measured plan will see us through the academic year and ensure the best possible teaching and learning experiences for our community.  

To this end, and after broad consultation, we will continue to phase our return to campus. Currently, many students are learning online and some are already attending in person. The next phases of our return-to-campus plan are outlined below.  

Starting Monday, January 31, all second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate- and graduate-level courses as well as second-entry professional programs will resume in person. This is the date we had originally planned to be in person. 

Based on current health guidance and the increased transmission risks associated with Omicron in congregate living environments, we will be delaying the return to residence for most students. Most of our first-year students are living in residence with shared spaces and washrooms that increase the risk of transmission and will not meet self-isolation requirements if substantial numbers of students are required to isolate.   

With this in mind, all first-year undergraduate level courses will resume in person on Monday, February 28.  

We are hopeful that this staggered return will minimize transmission and the impact on the health care system.  

All students living in residence will receive further information regarding refunds and early arrival requests on Tuesday, January 18.

As always and with consultation, our plans will continue to align with the latest provincial and local public health guidelines, and we will adjust course as needed.  

Our affiliated university colleges, who have a separate plan for the return to in-person learning, will be communicating directly with their communities.  

We know this is challenging for many of our students, faculty and staff. We are hoping this staggered return will allow classes to take place on campus for the rest of the term to support academic progress and get back to the in-person learning experience we all value.  

Staff who aren’t required to be on campus and can work from home should continue to do so. Leaders will be in contact with their teams to provide further direction.  

Physical and Mental Health and Well-being 

We are encouraging students and employees to get their booster shots before returning to campus and thank everyone for their continued commitment to keeping our campus safe.  

Mental health and well-being supports continue to be available, and we encourage anyone who needs support to please reach out for assistance. 

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon.  

Sarah Prichard

Acting President & Vice-Chancellor 

 

Supporting your well-being

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 .