Update on our Winter Term & safety protocols on campus

To our U of T Engineering community

I’ve been so gratified and impressed to see how everyone has tackled this Fall term with optimism, enthusiasm and support for your fellow students, staff and faculty members. As we hit the mid-point of the term, I know workloads can start to feel daunting — I wanted to check in and share some updates. 

Take a bit of time for yourselves

Though it can feel counterintuitive, sometimes stepping away from your screen is the best way to help yourself. For me, I need to take that break during a whole day of online meetings and email — so going for a walk during lunch, getting some fresh air, just disconnecting for a bit is so refreshing. We’ve collected several options for mental health and wellness resources for Engineering students, staff and faculty — it’s always smart to ask for help, whether you’re feeling school stress, grief, loneliness or confusion about the future. Our Fall Break for undergraduate students is coming up in the week of November 9-13, and that can be a good chance to take a rest or resume a hobby. Although we’re remote, we’re not alone — we are in this together.

 Plans for the Winter term

We’ve been closely watching the data and guidance from governments and public health officials as we continue planning for the Winter term. At this point, our remote access guarantee remains in place for the Winter term. That means that all undergraduate and graduate students will be able to complete their academic requirements remotely, regardless of where in the world they are studying from. The reality is that most courses will be delivered primarily remotely. We hope to be able to offer in-person experiences on campus, and continue to evaluate the pandemic situation before we share specifics on what’s possible. We all want to be back to normal as soon as we can — we will keep you updated.

International students travelling to Toronto

Some good news: many of our international students will now be able to enter Canada after changes to COVID-19 travel restrictions that took effect Tuesday, 20 October 2020. The change in study permit restrictions applies to all international students, regardless of where they are coming from or when their study permit was approved. Details on the requirements are on the Vice-Provost Students FAQ for international students.

Visiting and working on campus

For all students, staff and faculty who plan to work or study on campus, it is mandatory to complete a self-assessment through the UCheck tool before arriving on site. The web-based tool takes users through a short series of questions and can be completed on any device with an internet connection. A reminder that students, staff and faculty must wear non-medical masks in all common-use areas, and follow physical distancing protocols — for example, when meeting one-on-one in an office, maintain distance and keep masks on. If more than two people need to meet, find a larger space, or if weather allows, head outdoors.

 As days get shorter, it’s important that we maintain our connections — so please keep in touch. We are meeting this challenge head-on and I know that we’re all doing our very best for ourselves and each other. 


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

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