Welcoming you to winter term on campus

Friday, February 4, 2022

On February 4 the following email was shared with Graduate students

To: All students

From: Kate Windsor, Director of Safety, Chris Read, Associate Provost, Students

Subject: Welcoming you to winter term on campus

For many of you, February 7 will be the first time you step foot on one of our campuses. We’ve been busy preparing for your return, and we can’t wait to see you. To help you feel welcome and informed about what to expect, we’ve outlined key details about navigating your first weeks in-person below. 

Mask wearing
Wearing masks that fit well, have at least 2 layers of breathable tightly woven fabric (such as cotton), and an effective middle filter layer are very effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. This recommendation comes from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Region of Waterloo Public Health

We know many of you have asked for masks. We have 70,000 cloth masks with filter inserts ordered. Starting Monday, you can collect a mask package from one of many campus locations. Look out for more information on social media or stop by at any of the locations listed on the COVID-19 website

Eating and study spaces
You will find designated spaces set up across campus for studying and eating. The rules for each area will be clearly posted in these spaces. Please follow the posted rules at all times, including when sitting alone or with members of your household. You can find a list of what dining and study spaces are open on the COVID-19 website
Study spaces are only meant for studying, you are not permitted to eat in these areas. Please keep your mask on at all times and make sure it covers both your nose and mouth. Only lower your mask briefly to drink. You should be mindful of people around you and maintain two metres of physical distance. Independent study and group work are possible in open classrooms across campus (physical distancing and masking are required). Refer to the Portal Map for a listing of available rooms and times. 

Lounge/study spaces are hybrid spaces where you may lower your mask only while eating or drinking and must properly wear a mask at all other times.  

Designated dining areas have capacity limits and seating arrangements established and are meant for eating only. Ontario requires residents to show an enhanced vaccine certificate with a scannable QR code to access indoor dining facilities (more information below). You must wear your mask when not seated. Table and time limits will apply.  

Please note: All study and eating areas on campus will be monitored. We must all work together and demonstrate we care about each others' health. To ensure that happens, we will not hesitate to take action using our student conduct policies for those that don't. Do your part to remind others to follow the rules and set an example for safe and respectful behaviour.   

Enhanced Vaccine Certificate
In line with new Ontario regulations, you are now required to show an enhanced vaccine certificate with a scannable QR code in order to access indoor dining areas and Athletics and Recreation facilities.  
For anyone who was vaccinated in Ontario: Visit Ontario's website to learn more.  

For anyone who was vaccinated outside of Ontario or Canada: Contact your local public health unit to have their COVID-19 immunization record documented. If you are in Waterloo Region, please use your out of province immunization form. Please note this could take up to 21 days to process. 

Finding your way around campus
To provide support and a warm welcome, you can find volunteers from the Student Success Office each day from February 7 through 11, in high traffic outdoor areas around Ring Road.  

If this is your first time on campus, or if you need help finding somewhere you’re not familiar with, check in with our knowledgeable volunteers in the following locations:  

In front of South Campus Hall  
In front of BC Matthews Hall  
In front of Davis Centre, near the bus stops  
In front of the Student Life Centre  
Between the Mathematics & Computer Building, Quantum Nano Centre and Biology 1, in the Peter Russel Rock Garden  
Supports available
We know for all kinds of reasons you may be feeling stressed about your return to life on campus. This is normal. Our Back to Campus resource guide covers what life on campus will look like, how to manage your anxiety, and more. 

The @UWaterlooLife Instagram account will be sharing information for students about navigating campus. We encourage you to explore their return to campus highlight reel for more Q and As, or you can DM the account with questions as well – they're here to help. 

Welcome back, Warriors! We’re so happy to have you joining us on campus and wish you the best of luck for the remainder of your term! 

Kate Windsor, Director of Safety 
Chris Read, Associate Provost, Students 

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