FAQs

Student looking at a phone.
Frequently Asked Questions



Student FAQs

Academics

1. What will the Fall 2021 term look like?

With accelerated COVID-19 vaccination rollout across the region, Western University is preparing for a full return to in-person classes while prioritizing the health and safety of the campus community. As Western University continues to respond to the changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall/Winter 2021-2022 course offerings may be subject to change.

2. Are students required to be vaccinated before returning to campus this fall?

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 vaccinated before their arrival – and 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.

For more information, visit: https://housing.uwo.ca/coronavirus/faq.html  

3. Will Western have a vaccination site on campus?

As supply allows, Western will operate an on-campus vaccination centre later this summer to accommodate first and second doses for students, staff and faculty. More information to come.

4. I am an international student. Where can I find information specifically for me?

International students can visit Western International for specific information and resources.

 

Student Support & Services

1. What will the Fall 2021 term look like?

With accelerated COVID-19 vaccination rollout across the region, Western University is preparing for a full return to in-person classes while prioritizing the health and safety of the campus community. As Western University continues to respond to the changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 course offerings may be subject to change.

2. How can I access campus mental or physical health supports?

If you need support of any kind at any time, please contact: Student Support & Case Management at or 519-661-2111 x89152.

3. Where can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

Any registered student and current employee with an active Western username and password can book an appointment for Western's COVID-19 Testing Centre using the online booking tool.
 
NOTE: A Western ID number is required to book online.
 
Testing days and hours are updated regularly, please visit the COVID-19 Testing on Campus page.

4. What is happening with athletics and recreation?

Indoor facilities including the Western Student Recreation Centre (WSRC) and Thompson Athletic and Recreation Centre (TRAC) will be temporarily closed. Robust digital programming will continue in Campus Recreation and Sport. More information will come as it becomes available.

For more information and updates on Western Campus Recreation, please visit the Western Campus Recreation website.

5. 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.

For more information, visit: https://housing.uwo.ca/coronavirus/faq.html

6. Where can I find information on what's open and what's closed on campus?

For up-to-date information please visit our what's open page: uwo.ca/coronavirus/whats-open.html.  

7. How do I access Western Libraries’ services?

Only  no-contact curbside pick-up of collections via Weldon Library is available. There are no study spaces available for booking. All current digital and remote services continue.

Please visit the Western Libraries website for related COVID-19 information or service notices.

Fees & Financial Support

1. Where can I find information about financial support?

Students with questions regarding fees or financial aid may find additional information or submit a question by visiting the Office of the Registrar or the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Health & Safety

1. How does Western ensure a safe campus?

Wee ncourage all employees to take care of themselves, and take care of each other. Please continue to follow all COVID-19 health and safety protocols, wear a three-layer mask supplied by Western and complete the ‘Return to Campus’ questionnaire prior to each visit to campus. 

The health and safety of our community is a shared responsibility.

2. Do I have to wear a mask at Western?

Everyone on campus is now required to wear three- layer non-medical masks, rather than cloth masks, indoors and in the presence of others. These will be supplied by the university, with distribution starting March 31, 2021

Employees working within two metres of each other must also wear eye protection (face shield or goggles), as an added protective measure.

Faculty, staff and graduate students can request three-layer non-medical masks or eye protection through their faculty or unit designated requisitioner. Accommodation requests can be made via Employee Well-being.

Undergraduate students requiring three-layer non-medical masks can email facecoverings@uwo.ca and accommodation requests can be made via Accessible Education.

Three-layer non-medical masks will be distributed to all students in residence.

3. Where can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

Western's COVID-19 Testing Centre is open with an online booking tool to schedule appointments in advance. If you require a COVID-19 test over the break and are remaining in London, please visit one of the city's COVID-19 Assessment Centre's.

Any registered student and current employee with an active Western username and password can book an appointment for the testing centre using the online booking tool. At this time, an appointment is not required. You can still walk-in to get a test.
 
NOTE: A Western ID number is required to book online.
 
Testing days and hours are updated regularly, please visit the COVID-19 Testing on Campus page.

4. What are the quarantine and testing requirements for students arriving in Canada from abroad?

All students (domestic and international) who arrive in Canada from abroad are required to complete a 14-day quarantine and must register their quarantine plan/location with Western via the Register My Quarantine Plan form prior to arrival in Canada.

If you are a student who is currently outside of Canada, visit our International Arrival page for more information about mandatory quarantine registration, COVID-19 testing, required steps for travelling to Canada, and other supports and considerations in planning your arrival.

If you have further questions about travel restrictions, quarantine and/or testing, please contact iesc@uwo.ca or visit the international arrival website.

 

5. Where can I get a three-layer face mask?

Faculty, staff and graduate students can request face coverings through their faculty or unit designated requisitioner and students requiring additional masks can email facecoverings@uwo.ca.

For those with approved accommodations who are unable to wear a mask, Western will provide a face shield. Accommodation requests can be made via Accessible Education.




Faculty FAQs

1. What is Western's plan for faculty and staff?

Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order is in place until June 2, 2021. Some employees are required to be physically present on campus to support students and on campus activity. Employees not required to be on campus should work from home. Faculty, staff, post-doctoral scholars and leaders may continue to access their offices for required work. Caretaking and cleaning continues in buildings. All Western community members remaining on campus must wear three-layer non-medical masks supplied by the university.

2. What steps should I take when returning to campus?

Before returning to work on campus, employees must:

Once on campus:

  • Practice physical distancing. When possible, stay two metres apart.
  • Wear a non-medical mask/face covering. These are required indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is a challenge. Western is supplying all employees with non-medical masks.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect your desk, work area, computer equipment and tools frequently.

3. Where can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

Any registered student and current employee with an active Western username and password can book an appointment for Western's COVID-19 Testing Centre using the online booking tool.
 
NOTE: A Western ID number is required to book online.
 
Testing days and hours are updated regularly, please visit the COVID-19 Testing on Campus page.

4. How can I access campus mental or physical health supports during this time?

Western's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Western’s Family Practice Clinic remains open, however, only those with an in-person appointment scheduled should visit UCC 11. We are currently booking appointments via email.

Clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No walk-ins will be seen, you must have an appointment. If you are a patient with the Family Practice Clinic, you can book an in-person or telehealth appointment with a doctor by emailing us at fpcappt@uwo.ca . We continue to provide virtual health & wellness care Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, feel free to email us for support.

Please note: any patient experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be redirected to an assessment center for evaluation.

As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, our hours of operation may change. Please email the clinic for the most up-to-date hours. We ask that you avoid booking non-essential medical visits as much as possible during this time.

5. How can I access information technology (IT) support during this time?

Please visit Western Technology Services (WTS) for assistance with online teaching, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Owl, Blackboard Collaborate, WROAMS, etc. You can also call the WTS Helpdesk at 519-661-3800 or submit a service ticket for assistance.

6. How do I notify Western if I am sick or unable to report to work?

Employees must use Western’s Absence Notification Tool  or call Human Resources at 519-661-2194 and select option 3, and should also continue to follow normal departmental communication processes for absence notification. The tool is designed to provide the University with the vital information to track and monitor unanticipated absences from scheduled work during the COVID-19 pandemic. A newly adopted policy requires all Faculty and Staff members (including part-time, contract, Postdocs, Graduate Teaching Assistants and Student Employees) to report each day of an unanticipated absence using the tool.

7. What will parking look like on campus?

Faculty/Staff will not be charged for parking for the months of April through August, 2021.

  • Customers using payroll deduction will not have parking fees deducted these months. Permits will remain intact and no action is required.
  • Customers who have prepaid by cash, credit or debit for these months can have fees transferred for future months. Refunds/credits will be assessed and issued once the full extent of the closure is better understood.

This is subject to change and we will continue to assess in alignment with the broader campus and provincial guidelines. For more information on parking visit: https://www.uwo.ca/parking/index.html

8. What do guests or visitors to campus need to know with respect to COVID-19 protocols?

All visitors to Western must follow these directions with respect to COVID-19 protocols, to ensure the safety of our campus community:

Before coming to campus

  • If feeling unwell, stay home.
  • Complete the Ontario Public Health self-assessment questionnaire https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to: cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general, new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, or pink eye.  Stay up to date on the symptoms related to COVID-19 by visiting https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0

Once on campus

9. Will Western have a vaccination site on campus?

As supply allows, Western will operate an on-campus vaccination centre later this summer to accommodate first and second doses for students, staff and faculty. More information to come.



Staff FAQs

1. What is Western's plan for faculty and staff?

Employees continue to have access to campus buildings, office/space and labs.  In alignment with Ontario’s Reopening Plan Step 3 (approximately July 26), it is anticipated that staff and faculty can return to campus and prepare to welcome students to campus.  Leaders will be in touch with individuals on timelines for return.

2. What steps should I take when returning to campus?

Before returning to work on campus, employees must:

Once on campus:

  • Practice physical distancing. When possible, stay two metres apart.
  • Wear a non-medical mask/face covering. These are required indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is a challenge. Western is supplying all employees with non-medical masks.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect your desk, work area, computer equipment and tools frequently.

3. How can I access campus mental or physical health supports during this time?

Western's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is Lifeworks. It can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Western’s Family Practice Clinic remains open, however, only those with an in-person appointment scheduled should visit UCC 11. We are currently booking appointments via email.

Clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No walk-ins will be seen, you must have an appointment. If you are a patient with the Family Practice Clinic, you can book an in-person or telehealth appointment with a doctor by emailing us at fpcappt@uwo.ca . We continue to provide virtual health & wellness care Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., feel free to email us for support. 

Please note: any patient experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be redirected to an assessment center for evaluation.

As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, our hours of operation may change. Please email the clinic for the most up-to-date hours. We ask that you avoid booking non-essential medical visits as much as possible during this time.

4. Where can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

Any registered student and current employee with an active Western username and password can book an appointment for Western's COVID-19 Testing Centre using the online booking tool.
 
NOTE: A Western ID number is required to book online.
 
Testing days and hours are updated regularly, please visit the COVID-19 Testing on Campus page.  

5. How can I access information technology (IT) support during this time?

Please visit Western Technology Services (WTS) for assistance with online teaching, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Owl, Blackboard Collaborate, WROAMS, etc. You can also call the WTS Helpdesk at 519-661-3800 Mondays to Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. or submit a service ticket for assistance.

6. How do I notify Western if I am sick or unable to report to work?

All faculty and staff can use Western’s Absence Notification Tool on My Human Resources or call Human Resources at 519-661-2194 and select option 3 to notify the University of unanticipated absences. Employees working from home and completing all their scheduled work remotely do not need to, and should not, complete the Absence Notification tool. The tool should be completed by employees who need to notify the University that they are not available to complete their scheduled work on any given day (on campus or remotely), due to an unanticipated absence. An absence may be due to illness, public health requirement to self-isolate, care of family members, bereavement, and other unanticipated leaves. The absence may be paid or unpaid, depending on the type of leave and the employment policies or collective agreement provisions applicable to the employee’s role at Western.

Students should report an absence by using the online Student Illness Reporting Tool to track and monitor illnesses, whether the illness impacts the submission of course work or not. This tool takes the place of the need to submit a medical note and the Self-Reported Absence System used by undergraduate students.

7. Will employees who become sick still receive pay?

Employees who were scheduled to work and reported their absence on the Absence Notification Tool or by contacting Human Resources may or may not be paid, depending on the employment policies or collective agreement provisions applicable to your role at Western.

8. Are employees required to provide a doctor’s note for short-term, unplanned absences?

Doctor’s notes are not required for absences shorter than 21 working days.

9. If employees have a dual-role (student and staff relationship) do they need to report absences on the Absence Notification tool and on the Illness Notification system?

Student-staff employees will be required to report to the Student Illness Notification Tool and the employee Absence Notification Tool .

10. What will parking look like on campus?

Faculty/Staff will not be charged for parking for the months of April through August, 2021.

  • Customers using payroll deduction will not have parking fees deducted these months. Permits will remain intact and no action is required.
  • Customers who have prepaid by cash, credit or debit for these months can have fees transferred for future months. Refunds/credits will be assessed and issued once the full extent of the closure is better understood.
This is subject to change and we will continue to assess in alignment with the broader campus and provincial guidelines. For more information on parking visit: https://www.uwo.ca/parking/index.html

11. Where can I get a three-layer face mask?

Faculty, staff and graduate students can request face coverings through their faculty or unit designated requisitioner. Accommodation request can be made via Employee Well-being.

12. What do guests or visitors to campus need to know with respect to COVID-19 protocols?

All visitors to Western must follow these directions with respect to COVID-19 protocols, to ensure the safety of our campus community:

Before coming to campus

  • If feeling unwell, stay home.
  • Complete the Ontario Public Health self-assessment questionnaire https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to: cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general, new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, or pink eye.  Stay up to date on the symptoms related to COVID-19 by visiting https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0

Once on campus

13. Will Western have a vaccination site on campus?

As supply allows, Western will operate an on-campus vaccination centre later this summer to accommodate first and second doses for students, staff and faculty. More information to come.

Research FAQ

1. In which phase of research recovery are we currently?

We are currently in Step 1 of the Province of Ontario's Roadmap to Recovery.

  • On-campus research requires approval of the Dean or delegate, such as the Associate Dean (Research). Please contact your Associate Dean (Research) to re-initiate studies
  • Indoor face-to-face human studies involving moderate-to-high ventilation rates (e.g., exercise testing or training) remain paused for the time being.
  • Off-campus field and community-based research must receive permission from both Western and destination sites.
  • Three-layer masks are required for all researchers, trainees and research participants on campus.
  • Researchers and participants working within two metres of each other must also wear safety goggles, with further protection provided by a face shield if recommended by their supervisors.
  • Occupancy in Western’s research spaces remains at 30 per cent capacity.

Please see the Western Research COVID-19 update page for current notices.

2. What precautions should I take when on campus?

If your work requires you to be on campus, maintain physical distance. Determine how physical distancing can be achieved in research and social areas and consider how to minimize/avoid pinch points.

Three-ply masks are required for all researchers, trainees and research participants on campus. Researchers and participants working within two metres of each other must also wear safety goggles, with further protection provided by a face shield if recommended by their supervisors.

Wash your hands frequently, do not touch your face and clean surfaces.

Please note: the “Return to Campus Questionnaire” must be completed before each return to campus. Please also review the recommended health and safety measures.

3. Will I need to be screened prior to returning to campus?

All employees must complete a Health Assessment Questionnaire prior to returning to work. Individuals will receive a unique link in a daily reminder email (please do not share your link) or alternatively, they may go directly to the questionnaire on Qualtrics.

4. How will cleaning be managed?

Research personnel are expected to clean surfaces and tools prior to, and following, use. In addition, Facilities Management caretaking staff will clean floors using a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner (ES65H) on a weekly basis and will empty garbage receptacles. They will focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces, such as door handles and light switches at least daily using disinfectant cleaner.

5. What do I do if I begin to feel ill with COVID-19 symptoms during a visit with a study participant?

In instances where research with participants is permitted, based on Western's Research Recovery Plan:

  • Stop the test and inform everyone in the room why.
  • Ask all participating people to watch for symptoms.
  • Clean the room as usual following a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should be tested based on clinical assessment.
  • a) If results are negative:
    • Inform your team to watch for symptoms; individuals need to self-isolate until 24 hours after symptom resolution.
  • b) If results are positive:
    • Individuals need to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from symptom onset.
    • All people in the lab who were exposed should be tested and, while waiting for test results, must quarantine.
    • The local health unit (in our case MLHU) receives positive test results, and will step in for contact tracing and provide recommendations.
  • Clean the room as usual after a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).

6. What do I tell a study participant exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms – with or without travel history?

In instances where research with participants is permitted, based on Western's Research Recovery Plan:

  • Stop the test and inform everyone in the room why.
  • Inform your team to watch for symptoms.
  • Inform your team that this matter is confidential.
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should be tested based on clinical assessment.
  • a) If results are negative:
    • Inform your team to watch for symptoms; individuals need to self-isolate until 24 hours after symptom resolution.
  • b) If results are positive:
    • Individuals need to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from symptom onset.
    • All people in the lab who were exposed should be tested and, while waiting for test results, must quarantine.
    • The local health unit (in our case MLHU) receives positive test results, and will step in for contact tracing and provide recommendations.
  • Clean the room as usual after a research study, which includes wiping everything down (deep cleaning only for confirmed cases, which would include the addition of e-cleaning).

Additional Resources:

7. Am I able to postpone my sabbatical because I will not be able to conduct the relevant research?

Please speak with your department chair/Dean, as relevant, as there are provisions in the faculty agreement for postponing sabbaticals.

8. Will Western extend tenure clocks for Assistant Professors?

Please speak with your department chair/Dean, as relevant, as there are provisions in the faculty agreement for extending tenure requirements.

9. How should the research community continue with reductions to service?

  • Consider, as appropriate, alternate ways of conducting research so long as doing so does not affect the project’s scientific merit or integrity. The privacy and confidentiality of participant data needs to be considered and amendments must be submitted to Western’s research ethics boards, as applicable.
  • Consider what tools, books, materials, equipment and data, etc. would allow you to continue your work at home.

10. Can I continue my research at home?

We encourage you to continue to work off-site wherever it is possible to do so.

11. Should I continue my research in the community?

We anticipate community-based face-to-face research models will be among the last to re-start.

You need to postpone your research or change your methodology to ensure you follow social distancing practices necessary for breaking the chain of transmission. If implementing public health and institutional directives does not cause changes to your protocol/research plan, no further action is required; however, if implementing social distancing practices requires changes to how the study is conducted or changes to the participant experience, amendments must be submitted to Western’s research ethics boards. Please see human ethics-related communications for additional detail.

12. Should I contact the sponsor if I am engaged in sponsored research with industry?

Delays to research programs may occur as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to keep research sponsors apprised of the status of research projects that are subject to agreements with contractual obligations. If you have questions/concerns about existing research agreements, please contact crt@uwo.ca. Our team will help you discuss the status of your research project with the sponsor and find solutions during this uncertain time.

13. How are long-term prospective studies being interrupted?

Our priority is to protect Western’s students, trainees, staff, faculty and research participants. We recognize costs related to interrupting ongoing studies. Long-term prospective studies can continue if they are able to safely respect public health recommendations related to social distancing and self-isolation.

We ask that no new long-term prospective studies are initiated. If you continue with existing protocols, you must maintain the integrity of the data and pay special attention to social distance and hand-washing recommendations. Please contact your Associate Dean (Research) or Western Research with any specific questions.

14. How are REB-approved human participant research studies requiring changes to study-related procedures (e.g., data collection and analysis, recruitment, etc.) being handled?

Human research ethics has developed plans to efficiently and effectively address change requests to REB-approved research in the wake of COVID-19. We continue to communicate changes as they occur.

15. How are institutional signatures for grants and contracts being managed?

Western Research has documented internal procedures to ensure it is able to provide electronic signatures, including through delegated signing authority where required.