Fall 2020 Information

Residence in Fall

For over 50 years, Waterloo Residences has been a trusted housing provider among students, faculties and staff, and the wider Waterloo community. We are values-driven, motivated by our primary value to Put Students First, and have continually adapted our work throughout the pandemic to fit their evolving needs. This means determined and collaborative work to provide the best services, experiences, and spaces possible while ensuring students have a safe space to call home.  

Our Residence Life staff has reimagined our student experience over the late winter and early spring terms. Aware that our students may feel isolated and alone, we’ve adapted to digital platforms and increased our outreach and connection. This includes more frequent and ongoing online check-ins, virtual events and outings, and the creation of a comprehensive digital resource library. This adaptative approach to intentionally building community will continue to inspire our student engagement plans as we move forward into fall. As always, we continue to offer 24-hour, 7 days week student support services as well.  

Our Cleaning Services have always received an exceptionally high satisfaction rate among our students. We can attribute this to our staff’s determined investment: not only to surpass the highest standards of cleanliness, but to ensure students feel welcomed with compassion and kindness in these spaces. This approach informs the extensive safety protocols we are implementing, which meet or exceed public health guidelines. These include enhanced controls such as plexiglass shields at our desks, offering single bedrooms and using technology to facilitate communication. We will continue to look for ways to enhance our protocols in response to the pandemic.  

With the announcement of a hybrid fall term of in-person and online classes, Waterloo Residences staff is excited and ready to welcome you back to campus. This means leveraging relationships of trust we have with faculties and student-services across campus as well as partners in the Kitchener- Waterloo community. In addition, it means taking care of each other in order to truly support your physical, mental, and social health.  
In these uncertain times, there is one thing we know for certain: Waterloo Residences is uniquely positioned to provide unparalleled support you this fall. Your health and safety are important to us. We offer the best place for students to academically succeed, create connections, and find the resources and support you need. Together, we will thrive in difficult times and prevail with a Warrior spirit. 

We look forward to welcoming you home.  

Decisions about Residence

  • Waterloo Residences will be open to students for fall term. Whether your classes are online or in-person, students are welcome to live with us. 

  • Waterloo Residences is working closely with Public Health authorities to implement safety recommendations. See how we’re keeping you safe below. 

  • Food Services will be open to students for the fall term. Learn more here.

  • First years students who have confirmed their space in residence with a deposit and are no longer able to come to campus this fall will receive deposit refunds. Students who have submitted a deposit will receive a link to the refund request form by email. Be sure to request your refund by Friday, June 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). International students with a study permit will be granted a refund after the deadline as we understand that international travel continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back frequently for updates. First year students who request a refund by the deadline, will receive their refund by the end of July.
  • Upper year, graduate and exchange students who have confirmed their space in residence with a deposit and are no longer able to continue with their contract, will be issued a deposit refund and released from financial responsibility to pay for the entire contract. The deadline to submit a 'residence contract cancellation formis Friday, July 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). You must submit by the deadline in order to be eligible for the deposit refund and release from contract. International students with a study permit will be granted a refund after the deadline as we understand that international travel continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back frequently for updates.
    • *Please note that this process excludes student family contracts. Student families must continue adhering to the 60 days written notice in order to cancel their contracts or move-out.
  • We are working towards guaranteeing winter/spring housing for any first year student that academically defers.  A process is being developed and will be posted to our website shortly. (So please stay tuned.)

How we're ensuring your safety in residence

Front desk with plexiglass icon

Plexiglass at the front desks

Front desks are a major hub in each residence community. Students can pick up mail, make photocopies, ask questions and access resources. We have erected new plexiglass shields to keep both students and our front desk student staff safe.

bed icon

Single Bedrooms

All students in residence will have a single room this fall term. We are following the most up-to-date public health recommendations to support safe distancing practices within each residence. 

cleaning icon

Disinfecting Procedures

Our Cleaning Services staff are meeting and exceeding public health recommendations regarding cleaning and disinfecting all spaces in residences, particularly high touch surfaces.  

Computer icon

Virtual Programming

Our Student Development and Residence Life staff are working hard to ensure students feel connected, engaged, and academically supported in their residence communities through fun, virtual events and activities.

touchless sinks

Touchless Faucets

Touchless faucets have been added to most of our public washroom spaces to decrease high touch areas.

Disinfecting wipes

Disinfectant Wipes Dispensers

Disinfectant wipes dispensers have been added to dozens of spaces throughout our communities. This will allow students and staff to wipe down surfaces with a disposable disinfecting wipe between scheduled twice a day cleaning.

 Additional changes to our spaces include;

  • Foot door pulls and door levers have been added at all public circulation doors to decrease the amount of high touch points when opening doors and improve our accessibility throughout our communities.
  • Foot operated elevator buttons have been added to the elevator controls so students can call and select their floors without the use of their hands (normal elevator buttons are still available for accessibility purposes).
  • Power Door Operators have either been added or enhanced at most of our main entry ways. This includes replacing hand button operators with pedestal operators to allow for hands free opening of doors.
  • Over 250 hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout our buildings.
  • Signage has been placed throughout the buildings to indicate things like traffic flow, elevator max occupancy, enter and exit doors, and room max occupancy. Other examples include reminders of Public Health safety reminders like; hand washing, social distancing practices, etc. 
  • Furniture reduction has been implemented throughout all our spaces. Furniture has been reduced to allow for proper distancing.
  • Large study areas, washrooms, meeting rooms, and customer service spaces have all been equipped with plexiglass partitions if furniture placement alone did not provide proper distancing between users. Plexiglass partitions will continue to be added to our spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

All Student Groups 

Graduate Students