To: Graduate students

From: Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic & Provost, Jeffrey Casello, Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs

Subject: Changing academics until January 27

Welcome to another non-traditional start to the New Year. While the break may not have been all that we wished for, we do hope that you had some time to rest, recharge and connect with family and friends. 

Earlier this week, the Government of Ontario announced that it would move to a modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen starting today. At the University, we are already well-positioned to manage this change to Ontario’s public health protection measures.

Before the winter break we moved most teaching and learning online until January 24. To align with the government direction, we will extend these arrangements until January 27. The government changes also mean that recreation facilities are now closed and food services on campus will be take out only.

Guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities indicates that essential in-person learning activities are permitted to continue as previously planned. If your course has essential in-person components, you can expect to hear about it from your program or faculty.

If you are scheduled to serve as a TA for a course that has in-person elements, please be assured that all of our on-campus class activities are being conducted in ways that are consistent with public health guidelines.  If you have concerns about your TA assignment, please contact your supervisor, Departmental Graduate Officer or Departmental Coordinator.

New guidance has been provided for research activities including travel

The University’s Vice-President Research and International has issued revised guidelines for research activities and travel, both domestically and internationally. Please review that guidance with your supervisor and ensure that your research activities are compliant with the University’s regulations and, when permitted, your ongoing work is done safely.

We are working on proactive measures to support people who are coming to campus

We know that for many people, returning to the campus is a necessity – even while most of our community learns and works remotely. This means that for people in the highest risk roles and situations who work on our campus we are working to obtain more rapid antigen tests and we continue to procure medical-grade masks that are available through Central Stores.

Whether you are coming to campus or not, there are ways in which you can help flatten the curve and protect yourself against severe illness:

If we all do our part now to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and protect the healthcare system, we can get back to in-person learning and working. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work to obtain the safety supplies of masks and rapid tests that will support us when we return to in-person activities.

Please keep watch on your email, our social media channels, and the COVID-19 information website for more help and information.

2022 communications to graduate students