Students

Photo of students wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Information for the 2022 winter term

  • View the recent update on in-person learning.
  • Most classes will be virtual until January 31, 2022, with some exceptions for professional programs and clinical learning in health sciences and medicine – those affected by these exceptions will be contacted directly by their faculties.
  • Prior to each campus visit, students must complete the province’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine whether it is safe to visit.
  • 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.
  • If you study in a shared space with open cubicles, you are required to wear a mask at all times.
  • Please dine alone when masks are removed to eat and drink.

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. 

Building 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

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?

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 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 will reopen on Monday, January 31st. Designated study spaces that provide options for taking a nutritional break will be provided. 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.

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.

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

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.