May 27, 2021

Vaccination Required for Students Living in Residence This Fall 

May 27, 2021 

Despite the uncertainty of the past year, Western gave new students a home on campus and the chance to make meaningful bonds with peers. We leaned on each other to meet challenges head on, further demonstrating the extraordinary resilience, strength and determination of our university community. We know whatever lies ahead, we will thrive together yet again.    

Western is busy preparing for a full return to in-person classes this September while prioritizing the health and safety of the campus community. As part of our planning, we will require students living in residences to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as announced earlier today.

We will continue to work closely with medical experts and the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) to monitor developments related to COVID-19, and will keep students and families informed about changes that may impact residence occupancy, move-in, and health and safety protocols. 

Vaccination requirement  

According to public health experts, vaccination against COVID-19 is the single most important intervention in reducing COVID-19 transmission. Now that vaccines have become widely available, Western is requiring all students living in residence to have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Western strongly encourages students to receive their first dose of a vaccine prior to their move-in date to maximize its effectiveness and to avoid supply shortages and other complications. Students who are unable to access their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before arriving at Western will have 14 days following their move-in date to get vaccinated

Students who are unable to receive a vaccine and who require an accommodation as the result of a medical condition or other grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code may request an accommodation. More information about requesting an accommodation will be released in the coming weeks.   

All students living in residence must also receive their second dose of an approved vaccine as soon as possible, and by no later than a date to be set by Western based on public health recommendations.

Students who have not received their first or second vaccine dose as required and who have not been granted an exemption as the result of an accommodation will not be permitted to live in residence.

Proof of vaccination  

We recognize many incoming students have only recently become eligible for 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.   

Vaccination support  

Western will operate an on-campus testing and vaccination centre this fall and we expect to have a sufficient number of vaccines available for students needing one. For those students moving into residence without their first-dose vaccine, our on-campus vaccination centre anticipates being able to provide you your first dose within two weeks of your residence move-in date. However, we strongly encourage students to get their first dose prior to arrival at Western to maximize the efficacy of the vaccine and to avoid unanticipated vaccine shortages or other complications.    

Western also anticipates being able to provide any eligible student their second-dose vaccine at our on-campus vaccination clinic throughout the fall semester. Students who can receive their second dose prior to arriving to campus are also strongly encouraged to do so. Western will follow current provincial guidelines around administering second doses, which is currently four months after the first dose.   

Health and safety measures  

In addition to this vaccination requirement, Western will continue its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students living in residence will be expected to uphold the expectations listed in the Residence Contract. The following health and safety protocols were in place this past year, and could be implemented again this upcoming year:

  • A no-guest policy for external visitors 
  • Mandatory use of non-medical masks outside of residence bedrooms and in all public residence spaces, including lounges, elevators, hallways, lobbies, dining halls, etc.   
  • Prohibition of hosting or attending large unsanctioned gatherings 
  • Reduced capacity limits of residence rooms, floor lounges, study rooms, and gathering spaces 
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization of common areas 

We will continue to consult with the Middlesex-London Health Unit as we anticipate public health guidance potentially evolving over the summer. Expectations and changes to residence health and safety protocols will be communicated to students later this summer.  

Room occupancy  

Residences are an integral part of the in-person educational experience, and Western plans to honour the first-year residence guarantee and accommodate students on campus this September. More than half of our residence rooms are shared double-occupancy rooms.   

Students living in residence should expect to be placed with a roommate this fall, however it is possible we adopt a similar de-densification strategy as utilized this past year based on public health recommendations. We hope to finalize our occupancy strategy by late June after consultation with our local health unit, and will communicate our plans with all incoming students.  

Residence Contract update  

The Residence Contract outlines your rights and responsibilities while you live in residence. With the vaccination requirement, we’ve made a recent update to the Residence Contract as of May 27, 2021. Please review page 5 for more detailed information. 

Withdrawals and refunds

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.   

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If you have any other questions about this vaccination requirement, please view our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions webpage, or contact us at housing@uwo.ca

The on-campus living-learning experiences Western is known for can help you succeed. Our supportive community can’t wait to welcome our newest Mustangs to campus this fall.

Looking forward to welcoming you to your new home away from home.