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President’s Message: Winter 2022 Term Update

I hope you all had a restful Fall Study Week and are feeling refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the term. At this time, we are also able to evaluate the success of our first several weeks of reopening the campus. 

Our Fall Experience Working Group has spent these past weeks reviewing and evaluating all aspects of our Return to Campus Plan. Thank you for sending us your feedback and thoughts on how well or challenging this experience has been. Your insights and requests are helping us to optimize our processes such as campus access, systems for collecting our community’s Proof of Vaccination and exemption requests and our tools like those for booking time in our shops and studios, and monitoring positive case reporting (since the start of the term, only three individuals have reported testing positive with no resulting person-to-person transmission). Activity on campus is increasing as we balance safety with opening up further, and we can start looking ahead towards designing the best possible experience for everyone for the Winter 2022 term.

Return to normal class occupancy levels for Winter 2022
So, I am writing to you today to announce that, barring any directives from the Ontario government or Toronto Public Health, we will end the requirement for physical distancing in instructional spaces for the Winter 2022 term. 

This will be welcome news to instructors who have found the occupancy limits on academic spaces challenging. Shops, studios and computer labs will return to normal capacities as well. 

We have more courses with in-person requirements planned for the Winter term, and we want to ensure instructors have plenty of time to plan. 

Course formats are not changing (remote remains remote)
Please bear in mind that this doesn’t mean that every one of our courses is back to being delivered in person. The course format that is published in the course schedule remains the same: remotely delivered courses are still remote. Courses that have a room assigned will not have capacity limits. 

Unless we hear otherwise, we will continue to follow the Ministry's guidelines that require physical distancing in non-instructional spaces.

It’s time for all students and employees to submit their Proof of Vaccination
To ensure the best experience for all members of our community, we are now asking all students and employees to submit their Proof of Vaccination, regardless of whether you see yourself attending the campus or not.

Opportunities to engage in life on campus in person are increasing (students: check out @ocaducampuslife to sign up for in-person drawing sessions, nature walks, study groups, movie nights, storyboarding, cartoon marathons, arts and crafts, and more being offered by our Welcome Squad). We want all members of our community to have the opportunity to participate in these experiences. Sign into the OCAD U Safe app or the alternative web page to upload your documents

Submitting your proof now will also help reduce congestion at other campus access service points, such as obtaining your OCAD U ID card, which you need to swipe to enter the buildings. 

Only fully vaccinated individuals may attend campus as of October 26
As per our Return to Campus Policy and Protocols, only fully vaccinated individuals, or those with an approved exemption participating in the rapid antigen screening program, are allowed on the campus as of October 26. 

New weekly data report
Our community has been asking for greater transparency of data sharing related to the pandemic. Later today, you will receive a new weekly email providing an update ‘by the numbers’ on how we are keeping each other safe. This new report will include numbers of individuals who have submitted their Proof of Vaccination, the number of exemptions that have been granted, and updates on reported cases of COVID-19, as well as quick highlights of various safety measures. 

Faculty teaching in person: survey
FEX Working Group Chair Deanne Fisher has sent a survey to faculty who are teaching in person to gain insights into their experiences and help identify ways we can further support instructors in delivering in-person courses. For those teaching in person, if you haven’t already completed the survey, please take a few minutes to do so (we sent you the link in a separate email). 

I can’t wait to meet more of you in person this fall, whether it is checking out Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience at the Onsite Gallery, popping into a studio to see what you’re creating, seeing you at a Welcome Squad event, or welcoming you to the Ignite Gallery’s exciting new student exhibition space in 100 McCaul Street (more details coming in the very near future!). 

See you soon,
Ana

ANA SERRANO 
President & Vice Chancellor
T 416 977 6000 x200
M 416 574 7261