January 18, 2022

February Return to Residence

January 18, 2022

As the University announced last Friday, first-year undergraduate courses will resume in-person instruction on Monday, February 28. We are writing to provide you with more details about what to expect during this time as well as information about planning your return to residence. 

We recognize the specific challenges that our students are facing from both a physical and mental health perspective and that the continuation of online learning is not what we had hoped for. Western offers students one of the best on-campus experiences and we know many of you are missing that.   

We understand that the transition between in-person and online learning can be very challenging for some students, and we remain hopeful that this staggered return will enable us to remain on campus for the rest of the winter term.  

Please know that we are here to help you navigate this difficult time and that the information and resources contained in this email are intended to provide support. 

Register your date of return  

With the start of first-year in-person classes delayed to February 28, we will welcome back students to residence between February 24–27. Returning students will need to register a return date and time during this period. Daily limits on the number of students allowed to return on designated days and hours will be set, to assist in managing this process as safely as possible.  

To register, log in to the myHousing Portal, select ‘Residence’ and then ‘Live in Residence September 2021–April 2022’. From there, choose 'Reserve Your Return to Residence Time Slot' from the list of options.  

Early arrival request 

With this delayed return, we understand some students might find themselves in exceptional circumstances that may require an earlier arrival prior to February 24. Some students in residence may be taking 2000+ level courses, or courses at the affiliated university colleges, which will require returning to campus for January 31. 

Early arrival requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. next Monday, January 24, and will only be considered for pre-booked travel arrangements, health reasons, extraordinary personal circumstances or those registered in courses that require them to be present in person.

To submit your request, log in to the myHousing Portal, select ‘Residence’ and then ‘Live in Residence September 2021–April 2022’. From there, choose 'Request an Early Arrival for the Winter Term’ from the list of options. 

Anyone who had an approved early move-in in January will still be allowed to return on that previously approved date.  

Adjusted residence refund 

Recognizing the extended period of time that you are unable to access your residence room, an adjusted credit of residence fees will be added to your account on Student Center for the following:  

  • Room rate: depending on your residence and room type, credits will range from $1,860 (double room in a traditional-style building) to $2,465 (single room in Essex/Elgin)  
  • Meal plan overhead: $760 
  • Connect-IT internet fee: $90 

These credits are calculated based on 52 days starting January 3 to February 23. 

Please note that the above credit will be applied ONLY for students returning to residence as of February 24 onwards when residences fully reopen. The credit will be applied to your Student Center account by the end of March. You will receive email confirmation from Housing once the credit has been applied. The confirmation email will also include a detailed breakdown of your residence credit. If you are eligible for a refund (a credit balance on your Student Center account), please ensure that you have enrolled in direct deposit in your Student Center account in order to receive your refund in a timely manner. If you do not enrol in direct deposit, your credit will be held for future registration with Western.    

If you require assistance in setting up direct deposit, or if you are an international student and do not have an account with a Canadian bank, please contact Student Central directly via Live Chat at Western.  

By arriving in residence before January 27, students will forfeit all residence fee credits. 

If you return to residence between January 27–February 23 (inclusive), you will receive the January credit, NOT prorated to the date of your return. This includes room rate ranging from $860 to $1,140, meal plan overhead of $350 and internet fee of $42, as communicated on December 20.

COVID-19 vaccine booster 
If you are 18 years of age or older and have received your second dose at least three months ago (84 days), you are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 booster shot prior to your return to campus. For those who are currently in residence, you can book an appointment online at the University’s vaccination centre to receive your booster. 

Your health and wellness 

We recognize this is a very challenging time and that the pandemic continues to have a real impact on mental and physical health. We encourage you to reach out for help. The following resources are available if you are in need of support: 

  • Residence Counselling offers free, virtual counselling - accessible from home or residence. You can email needtotalk@uwo.ca at any time to schedule an appointment.  
  • Good2Talk Student Helpline 1-866-925-5454, available 24/7 for post-secondary students to talk to a professional counsellor for support 
  • CMHA Crisis Services (24/7): 1-866-933-2023; Online Chat: reachout247.ca 
  • Kid’s Help Phone Crisis Text Line (24/7): Text CONNECT to 686868 
  • Health and Wellness at Western, which also provides support related to physical and/or mental health concerns 

Your Residence Don will continue to host virtual floor meetings and other community engagement opportunities to help keep you connected to your peers as you study remotely. 

COVID-19 protocols 

We will continue to follow the public health guidelines and provide you with safety protocol updates when you return to residence. Please note with the recent change in Ontario’s testing and isolation guidelines in response to Omicron, isolation requirements in residence will be different from the fall. More details will be communicated in early February.