Ontario college and university students told to vacate residences

Mar 18 2020, 11:05 am

Some Ontario colleges and universities have asked students to vacate their dorms in an effort to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

Since Thursday, post-secondary institutions across the province have been transitioning from face-to-face to digital formats, and campuses have been adjusting their services in response to the ongoing pandemic.

Now, select schools have told students living in residence that it’s time to go home.

“Residence students in Pitman Hall, the Daphne Cockwell Complex, and the International Living & Learning Centre are being asked to leave residence as soon as possible,” Ryerson University said in a message from its president.

For students with “exceptional circumstances who are unable to leave residence at this time,” the school says that arrangements will be made.

The University of Toronto also said that students who can leave residence should do so. However, not all residence buildings will be closed, in order to meet the needs of students who can’t go home.

Outside of Toronto, the University of Ottawa has told students they are “required” to move out by 4 pm on Sunday, March 22.

“This does not apply to international students or those with exceptional circumstances,” the university said in an update.

University of Guelph students have been asked to move out of their dorms, but the school said it will continue to provide services to students who can’t leave campus. Those students should be prepared to move residence buildings, among other changes, if they cannot go home.

Further, students at the University of Waterloo have been “strongly encouraged” to move out by Friday, March 20. Again, essential services will continue for those who can’t leave.

The University of Waterloo will provide a prorated credit to the student accounts of those who move out on or before Friday, March 20, so long as the steps outlined by the school are followed.