Update from Dean Young on the Return to Campus
Last Updated on September 15, 2021
As we begin our second-ever academic year, I’d like to welcome our students, faculty and staff to the Lincoln Alexander School of Law.
As you can appreciate, planning for this academic year has been a challenge. COVID-19 rates have risen in some communities in Ontario and in Toronto, external link, vaccination rates are increasing but very slowly, and public health advisories and protocols for universities continue to shift. All of these factors have contributed to considerable uncertainty about our plans for a safe return to campus including in-person classes. As provincial protocols shift, so must our plans.
Unlike some other colleges and universities, Ryerson has, as an additional safety precaution, given faculty members and instructors the option to teach remotely or in-person. Given the uncertainties related to the pandemic, faculty members and instructors will be given the opportunity to shift their course delivery depending on their own individual circumstances.
Course scheduling for in-person classes has been particularly challenging for a number of reasons including continued uncertainty about provincial physical distancing guidelines and shifts in comfort levels of instructors, staff and students about returning to campus during what many are calling the “fourth wave”of the pandemic. While we continue to be optimistic about the low risk of infection among the vaccinated, we are concerned about the rising infection rates in Ontario.
At this time, we do not expect that any remote classes will switch to in-person delivery, but it is possible that some in-person classes will switch to remote delivery. As long as health guidelines allow, we will keep the law school open to students who wish to study or attend their remote classes on campus.
Although the situation is fluid and may change in the coming days/weeks, we hope the following will help you plan for the semester ahead:
- Mandatory Vaccinations. We encourage you to get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so. Ryerson President Lachemi announced that effective September 7, 2021, proof of vaccination status will be required for students, faculty and staff who wish to come to campus. Those who have not been fully vaccinated or do not want to disclose their vaccination status will be required to be tested in order to come to campus. Details about submitting proof of vaccination status, testing requirements, and how to request an exemption can be found here.
- Health Screenings. Prior to each visit to campus, all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors must complete a mandatory health screening before being granted access to campus buildings. Screenings must be completed via the RyersonSafe app or the RyersonSafe Health Screening webpage. In addition, you may be asked to show proof of your passed health screening to access the law school and some other areas on campus such as the Library or Student Learning Centre.
- Masking and Physical Distancing. Students will be required to wear a mask in all of the law school spaces. According to the most recent guidance released from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and amendments to the applicable emergency regulations, physical distancing guidelines have been relaxed for indoor instructional spaces at post-secondary institutions. In all other spaces on campus, such as common spaces and corridors, a two-metre physical distancing requirement continues to be required by law, and will remain in place until further notice.
- Law School Spaces. Recognizing that most of our classes will be taught remotely but that many of our students are eager for an on-campus experience, we are opening up the law library and other spaces in the law school for students to take their remote classes, to meet with other students, to organize student clubs and associations, and participate in other activities.
I want to assure you that the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remains the top priority as we move through the fall semester. I cannot thank you enough for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate our way through this period of uncertainty and change. We promise to do our best as we move forward.
Please continue to regularly check our Students FAQs for more information and updates. And if you have any urgent questions or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean Donna E. Young