General FAQ

General FAQ

Please be aware that provincial COVID-19 health guidelines and federal travel regulations continue to evolve. We will update this page and share additional information via email as it becomes available. It is important to stay updated by reading all communication coming from Western. We encourage students to regularly check the Health Canada website and this FAQ page.

Academic Year 2021-22

The following information is for students who will live in residence for the 2021-22 academic year.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Updated as of June 23, 2021

Accordion Info

1. Are vaccinations mandatory in residence?

Western is strongly encouraging all members of the campus community to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

The university and its affiliated University Colleges (Brescia, Huron and King’s) will require students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, assuming Ontario’s supply allows.

Students living in residence will be asked to get their first vaccination at least 28 days before their arrival on campus.  Those who can’t access the shot will have 14 days following their move-in date to get vaccinated on campus. Those who for medical or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code cannot be vaccinated may request an accommodation.

Western will be operating an on-campus vaccination clinic to accommodate first and second doses of the vaccine. However, students should make every attempt to secure their first dose prior to arriving to campus.

2. Do I just need the first vaccine or is the second booster shot required as well?

Western requires students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, preferably before their move-in date but at least within 14 days following their move-in date. Students who can’t access their first COVID-19 vaccine before arriving at Western will have 14 days following their move-in date to get vaccinated on or off campus.

Students will also be required to receive their second dose of the vaccine. Western anticipates being able to provide any eligible student their second dose vaccine at our on-campus vaccination centre during the fall semester. Students who can receive a second dose vaccine prior to arriving to campus are strongly encouraged to do so.

3. What proof of vaccination will be needed? What’s the deadline to provide that?

We recognize that many incoming students have only recently become eligible for a vaccination, and that first dose vaccinations will occur over the coming weeks and months. More information on how to provide proof of vaccination to Western will be sent by email in the coming weeks. We encourage you to keep any vaccination receipt or record, in the event it is needed at a later date.

4. Does the type of vaccine matter? Will a foreign vaccination certificate be accepted?

Students living in residence can receive any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada. Vaccination documentation will be required for all students.

The new guidelines for individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada have been published by the Ontario Ministry of Health. For international students unable to access a vaccine authorized by Health Canada or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) before the fall, Western plans to operate an on-campus vaccination clinic for students seeking their first and second doses of the vaccine.

The following chart outlines actions based on vaccination status and vaccine type:

Vaccination Type/Status Action Upon Arrival on Campus
Unvaccinated Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within 14 days of move-in.
One dose of Pfizer, Moderna or Astra-Zeneca Receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada.
Two doses of Pfizer, Moderna or Astra-Zeneca No additional vaccines required.
One dose of Johnson & Johnson No additional vaccines required.
One dose of Sinovac or Sinopharm Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within 14 days of move-in.*
Two doses of Sinovac or Sinopharm No additional vaccines required.
Partial or full series of any other vaccines Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within 14 days of move-in.*

* International students seeking their first dose of the Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine, may receive one at Western’s vaccination clinic as long as it is 28 days after their last vaccination. As per NACI recommendations, an interval of at least 28 days after the administration of any other vaccine should be taken before administrating the Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Western will make the necessary concessions to its vaccination requirement for students who are required to wait longer than 14 days to receive their first dose of a Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival on campus. 

5. Will staff working in residence also be vaccinated?

Live-in staff (i.e. Residence Dons) will be required to be vaccinated unless granted an accommodation, as their living arrangements form part of their contractual duties. Residence Dons will be provided with appropriate PPE, be expected to follow health & safety protocols, and will receive additional safety training related to COVID-19.

6. Can I still move in if my first vaccine appointment is booked after the move-in date?

The University will provide a vaccination centre on campus this fall and expects to have a sufficient number of vaccines available for students needing one. You can still move in as long as you are vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination within two weeks after you move in. However, we strongly encourage students to get their first dose prior to arrival at Western to maximize the effectiveness of the vaccine and to avoid supply shortages or other complications.

7. How do I submit a request for an accommodation?

If you cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons or for sincerely held creed/religious beliefs, you may request an accommodation form by emailing housingrequests@uwo.ca, indicating the accommodation ground pertaining to your situation (medical or creed/religious). 

You will receive a response from housingrequests@uwo.ca that will provide you with instructions and information about the process, including the form you will be required to submit to complete your request for an accommodation.

Please note that if you are requesting an accommodation for medical reasons, you will be asked to submit a form signed by a physician or nurse practitioner confirming you have a medical condition that prevents you from receiving the vaccine.

If you are requesting an accommodation for creed/religious reasons, you will be asked to submit a form signed by you (or your parent or legal guardian, if you are under the age of 18) and sworn by a Commissioner of Oaths.

We ask that those students intending to make an accommodation request do so by August 3, 2021 in order to avoid any delays. Each request will be reviewed carefully, and a decision will be communicated via email as soon as possible.

8. Will Western turn students away from residence if they cannot show proof of vaccination upon arrival?

Students who can’t access their first COVID-19 vaccine before arriving at Western will have 14 days following their move-in date to get vaccinated on or off campus. Students who have not been vaccinated with their first dose within two weeks following their move-in date, or who have not been granted an accommodation to this requirement, will not be permitted to continue living in residence.

9. Will students moving into residence have to show they’ve been vaccinated by a specific date before moving in? If so, when?

Western is encouraging all students to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. As supply allows, Western will operate an on-campus vaccination centre this fall and expects to have a sufficient number of vaccines available for students needing one. More information on how to provide proof of vaccination to Western will be communicated by email in the coming months.

10. Will Western be testing students for COVID-19 upon arrival in residence?

Our current focus is on encouraging all students to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. At this time, the University is not planning to test students upon arrival in residence. If there is a need to change course, we will. New information will be shared as early and as often as possible. Incoming students and parents are encouraged to monitor Housing’s COVID-19 updates page for the latest information on residence plans for fall 2021.

11. With the vaccination requirement, can I still withdraw from residence and receive refund of the prepayment?

We understand your circumstances may have changed and you may need to withdraw from residence. If you no longer plan to live in residence, please submit your withdrawal request to housing@uwo.ca before June 3, 2021, and you’ll receive a full refund of your $900 prepayment. If you cancel on or before August 3, 2021, you will receive a $450 refund. If you cancel after August 3, 2021, you will forfeit your $900 prepayment. Review more information on our residence website about residence withdrawal and refund policies.

12. Does Western require proof of any other vaccinations for students in residence?

Western does not require students living in residence to verify proof of vaccination for other illnessess, however all students are encouraged to take responsibility for their health and well-being by following public health immunization recommendations and ensuring their immunizations are up to date before begining university studies. The Middlesex-London Health Unit fully supports Western's decision to require COVID-19 vaccination for students living in residence.

13. Is the vaccine requirement being enforced at affiliated University College campus residences too?

Yes. Any student living in a residence operated by an affiliated University College (Brescia, Huron, King's) must have received their first dose before starting to live in residence or receive the vaccine within two weeks following their move-in date.

Health and Safety

Updated as of May 25, 2021

Accordion Info

1. How will the shared communal washrooms be cleaned? Will in-suite cleaning be provided for the shared washrooms, and kitchenettes in hybrid- and suite-style residences?

Based on the current health and safety guidelines, we plan to continue the enhanced cleaning and sanitization of common areas (outside of suites) in all residences. In traditional-style residences, shared communal washrooms will see enhanced and more frequent sanitization by our caretaking staff, seven days a week. Cleaning supplies will also be available in shared communal washrooms should students wish to augment cleaning before and after use.

To ensure our caretaking staff provide enhanced cleaning and sanitization of high-touch common areas, in-suite cleaning will not be offered in the fall. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will make an assessment of local health and safety conditions in consultation with the health unit, to determine an appropriate time to initiate in-suite cleaning schedules.

We encourage students to clean and maintain their own living spaces regularly. Health and sanitation checks will also be conducted by University staff at various times throughout the year. Vacuums, mops, cleaning cloths and cleaning products are available for students to borrow from their residence front desk. Students should bring their own toilet brush if living in a hybrid-style or suite-style residence.

2. If someone in residence is symptomatic or gets positive for COVID-19, where will they be isolated?

Western follows the guidance of Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) who leads on these incidents to develop strategies to prioritize the health and safety of our students and the entire Western community, and minimize risks associated with COVID-19.

We've established a protocol and secured a location in the event we're advised by the MLHU to isolate a sick community member outside of residence. If a community member gets sick, we take the direction from the MLHU and the health experts at Student Health Services.

Residence Admissions and Refund

Updated as of June 3, 2021

Accordion Info

1. Will residences be open in the fall?

Western plans to return to face-to-face instruction this fall. The university will require students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, assuming Ontario’s supply allows. Residences are an integral part of this in-person educational experience, and Western plans to honour the first-year residence guarantee and accommodate students on campus this September. In the event that government or public health officials issue any directives to advise this is not possible, or if de-densification is required, we will update impacted students as soon as possible.

2. What will happen with my residence fee if there is a delay in occupancy or termination of residence contract due to COVID-19?

We hope to resume as much as possible our normal activities in the fall of 2021. However, we must also prepare should the pandemic threaten the health and wellness of our community. Due to the uncertainty created by COVID-19, Western University reserves the right to delay occupancy or terminate the Residence Contract with you in the event that: (1) the University determines that it is prudent or necessary to do so for reasons of public health or student safety, or (2) the University is required by law, order or directive to close one or more of its residences, to limit the number of persons residing in residence, or such other law, order or directive affecting the normal operation of its residences. In such circumstances, Western University will provide you with reasonable notice and either reduce your residence fees or refund you a prorated amount of any prepaid residence fees.

3. My friend and I want to live together, are we guaranteed to be roommates? Will there still be roommates due to COVID-19?

Roommates are guaranteed to be placed together as long as they join the same roommate group in the Residence Placement Questionnaire (myhousing.uwo.ca) and meet all the criteria:

  1. You both receive residence offers and submit your Residence prepayment and complete your Residence Placement Questionnaires before the deadline.
  2. You both join the same roommate group in the myHousing Portal
  3. You both rank your preferences identically. You can find the details on this process on our Residence website FAQ under "Roommate Selection and Placement".
  4. You have both received at least your first dose of the COVID vaccine prior to move-in.

A lot of our students do not request roommates, and in that case, we will match you with roommate based on the applicable information you provide on the Residence Placement Questionnaire. Over the years, we've received many compliments about our roommate-matching process and it has been the start of so many friendships!

We are currently consulting with local health officials to guide our decisions on the occupancy strategy for the fall. For the past 2020-21 academic year, when we were unable to place roommates together due to de-densification, we placed them in rooms beside each other (if in traditional-style) or in the same suite (if in suite-style buildings). We hope that things go back to normal this year, but will adjust as needed and keep students informed in the process.

4. If I pay my residence prepayment and then I defer, can I get a refund?

If you accept a residence offer and later formally defer your academic admission until the following year, our normal cancellation policy will apply. That is, if you cancel before August 3, 2021, you would receive a $450 refund. If you cancel after August 3, 2021, you would forfeit your $900 prepayment.

For the following year, to accept your residence offer you will follow the below process:

  1. Complete your Residence Placement Questionnaire on the myHousing Portal by the deadline date on you offer letter.
  2. Pay the $900 prepayment on the myHousing Portal by the deadline date.
  3. Once you arrive to residence in September, the Cancellation Fee from 2021 will be will be credited back to your on your Student Center account.

Please note that unfortunately, if you choose not to attend, the Cancellation Fee from 2021 will not be waived. The new $900 prepayment for 2022 will also be subject to the current cancellation policy.

Review more information on residence withdraw and refund policies. This is where we’ll communicate any updates once they’re available.

5. When will I know if I have a spot in residence for the fall?

If you are a single student, coming directly from high school, and have received an offer of full-time, first-year admission to Western by mid-May, your accommodation is guaranteed. You are required to pay a $900 prepayment to accept your residence offer on or before the deadline date indicated with your academic offer. It is important to complete the online Residence Placement Questionnaire at myhousing.uwo.ca on or before this deadline. Please pay close attention to additional deadlines. The first instalment of residence fees is due August 3, 2021 for first-year students. Failure to meet the requirements by these deadline dates may result in the cancellation of your residence space.

Students who do NOT meet our guaranteed offer requirements are still eligible to apply to the residence waiting list if they are single and are academically admissible for full-time studies on Main Campus. Residence offers will be made throughout the summer if spaces become available.

For upper-year students (second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students), residence will not be offered for the 2021-22 academic year. Uncertainty associated with COVID-19 and the rollout of vaccines has added a level of complexity to our planning. In order to honour our residence guarantee to the incoming first-year class, we are unable to accept upper-year residence applications at this time.

Summer 2021

Updated as of May 25, 2021

Accordion Info

1. Can students stay in residence during the summer?

London Hall will be open from May 6 to August 22, 2021, for all Main Campus Western students in need of accommodation. This housing has been put in place to support students who cannot return home due to travel restrictions, health, personal circumstances or various obligations. For students registered at the Affiliated University Colleges, please check with your housing office for specific arrangements.

2. During my stay in residence this summer, what shall I do if I have any COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test result?

At any time If you start experiencing symptoms, receive a positive result, or come into contact with a positive case, please call the Housing COVID-19 Support phone 24/7 at 519-495-3980 with any questions or for support.

To learn more about residence support during your quarantine or isolation, please check out this webpage.