The new academic year is imminent – and we all know that the Fall 2020 term will be very different from the norm! I hope you were able to take a break and disconnect from work this summer. The pandemic continues to impose constraints that make our daily lives more challenging, and we know that we will need to keep finding new ways to work together (albeit at a distance) throughout this semester. We can all be proud of our accomplishments to date (I know there will be some phenomenal courses this fall!) and be confident that we will overcome the challenges to come.
We are in Phase 2 of campus reintegration. While the relaunch of research is well underway, academic life is only resuming very, very gradually on campus. There will be more students in residence than there were during the summer, and some students will be taking in person courses (especially in Science, Health Sciences and Medicine). In addition, the University has identified 1,000 study spaces on campus for students who experience difficulty connecting to the internet, or who need a quiet space to pursue their courses. Première Moisson in FSS (Social Sciences Building) has also reopened.
We will continue to prefer offering virtual services to students and faculty.
Finally, I know that you are all anxiously awaiting news regarding the Winter 2021 session. The University has not taken a firm decision yet but, if I had to place a wager, I would likely bet on the maintenance of the status quo.
A few guidelines to follow if you visit campus:
- The use of a face cover is mandatory in all public and shared spaces on campus. However, you may remove your mask in your private office.
- There will be COVID Ambassadors at the entrances of FSS. They will be reminding everyone of the obligation to wear a face cover and of following all safety instructions. We ask that you participate in the effort to create a culture that collectively respects the wearing of face covers.
- VNR (Vanier Building) and floors 1 to 6 in FSS (Social Sciences Buidling) are open from 7 am to 10 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). Access to floors 7 to 15 of FSS requires the use of your access card. Undergraduate students do not have access to the upper floors.
- There are arrows affixed to the floor throughout the VNR and FSS buildings to indicate the direction of traffic. Please follow these directions.
- The usage of kitchens and microwaves is prohibited.
- As of September 8th, you are no longer required to request permission for a one-time visit to your office. However, if you wish to make regular use of it, you should continue to submit your requests to doyenFSSdean@uOttawa.ca. We need to stay below the 66% threshold, so we need to continue to manage the use of our space.
- If you wish to meet in person with colleagues or students inside the FSS or VNR buildings, the number of participants in these meetings is limited to three, and you must maintain social distancing. You can book a meeting room for this purpose by going through your academic unit. However, you are encouraged to continue to use Teams (or Zoom) for your meetings.
- If you develop COVID 19 symptoms, and you visited campus within 15 days of the onset of the symptoms, you should get tested, self-isolate and report the fact that you are symptomatic to the RH- Health and Wellness Sector (hrhealth@uOttawa.ca).