To all members of the University College community:
During these unprecedented and challenging times, I would like to reach out to the UC community with an update and to say thank you.
First of all, let me express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have worked so hard and who have been so supportive of the extreme-yet-necessary measures being taken right now to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and “flatten the curve,” as the saying now goes. I am grateful for the responsiveness everyone has shown in taking seriously the necessity of social distancing. Thank you also for maintaining the extraordinary sense of community that has made University College such a unique and wonderful place. Your support for one another is important and has not gone unnoticed.
University College’s response to COVID-19 has been closely coordinated with the University of Toronto’s response, and we continue to consult with and take guidance from the University’s administration as this situation evolves. I encourage you to read the latest updates from the President and Provost, which are posted on the U of T COVID-19 updates page, and from the Faculty of Arts and Science on the Arts & Science COVID-19 page, where you can also find Public Health resources.
Please see the current state of operations at University College outlined below:
- Classes and exams for the remainder of the session will take place remotely, not in
- While University College remains open, our buildings (like all campus buildings) are closed to the public and access is restricted.
- Students living in UC Residences have been asked to leave if they can travel and have a safe place to go. Our essential operations will adjust to meet the needs of students who cannot leave residence.
- Employees who can work from home have been asked to do so. For the College to fulfill our responsibilities to the remaining students in residence, some employees will be required to come to our campus, and we remain committed to their health and safety.
- Special provisions for pay continuity and for expanded sick leave have been communicated to our staff.
I am grateful to all members of UC who have shown adaptability and resourcefulness in dealing with this situation, including the many instructors who have moved their classes online at very short notice. I would like to reiterate the advice from medical professionals—practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and self-isolate if you’re not feeling well, have recently travelled outside of Canada, or have come into contact with someone who is suspected of having the virus.
I would like to especially and emphatically express my gratitude to those staff members whose continued presence on campus is necessary to ensure the well-being of our remaining residence students. I cannot thank you enough — caretaking, kitchen, and residence life staff, building stewards, porters, dons— as your work is critical.
I encourage you to find time each day to check in with each other: chat remotely with a fellow student, e-mail a colleague, meet in online groups, connect by phone, or video call with a member of our community. Please do all you can to stay healthy and keep others healthy, and endeavour to keep each other company despite being apart. We will continue to post all updates on the University College website.
Principal, University College