We’re still advocating for a safer return to campus for all U of T students! After the publication of our Open Letter RE: University of Toronto’s Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2021, U of T changed its position to require proof of vaccination from those attending campus this upcoming semester, and bar those who are not vaccinated from coming to any of U of T’s three campuses.
This is a huge win for students and staff, who showed concerns regarding the previous U of T policy that stated people could self-declare their vaccination status. However, there is still more to be done to protect everyone on campus.
The UTSU is still pushing U of T to:
- Require all academic units to provide virtual accommodations for students who are forced to quarantine or isolate, test positive for COVID-19, or face other extenuating circumstances that prohibit them from being on campus at any point in the semester. Virtual accommodations should include, but are not limited to:
- Recording all lectures, tutorials, and practicals.
- Replacing all participation marks earned synchronously with ones earned asynchronously.
- Releasing the exam schedule no later than four weeks into the term, as well as prohibiting any exams or midterms from taking place in-person.
- Require all academic units to centralize avenues for students seeking virtual accommodations to ensure the equitable application of such accommodations. For example, committees similar to the Faculty of Law’s Student Accommodations Committee should be struck at every academic unit to alleviate the undue burden placed on students when making individual arrangements with all of their instructors during emergency situations.
- Increase the capacity of mental health and accessibility services, as well as maintain accessibility accommodations reported in the previous academic year.
- Promise that a strict mask mandate will be upheld throughout the fall semester, regardless of provincial regulations and the epidemiological situation.
- And finally, provide less ambiguous and more frequent communication regarding:
- What percentage of the community is vaccinated at regular intervals and the number, size, and locations of COVID-19 outbreaks occurring on campus.
- The policy on physical distancing and capacity limits on classrooms, libraries, and public spaces.
- Information on how the use of UCheck will be regulated in all campus spaces, as we do not anticipate that voluntary compliance will work among crowded campuses of 90,000 students.
- The back-up plan for course delivery and crisis management if and when community outbreaks occur in classrooms as well as in residences.
Sign the UTSU’s letter so we can push the university to meet the above demands, and support Open Letters from other U of T groups and organizations!