Moving Forward: U of T Plans For Return To In-Person Activities This Fall

Moving Forward: U of T Plans For Return To In-Person Activities This Fall

Photo Credit: usmc archive

SMC President David Sylvester is hopeful about SMC re-opening

Jennifer Zhong, Associate News Editor 

As COVID-19 vaccinations increase, the University of Toronto (U of T) is hoping that it can return to in-person activities this fall. “Starting this September, we are optimistic that most courses, student services and co-curricular activities will be able to proceed in person, with the possible exception of large-scale gatherings,” says U of T President, Meric Gertler, in a letter to the U of T community on March 8. Gertler also noted that U of T plans to maintain flexibility and to, “leverage the innovations developed over the past year, such as high-quality online teaching and delivery of services to students and faculty members.”

Over the past year, most on-campus activities, with the exception of some research, have been offered online. Almost all courses will continue in their online format for the 2021 summer semester. In preparation for a safe return to campus, the university has updated its in-class instruction and its general workplace guidelines.

In addition, the university is hosting vaccination clinics at U of T’s Mississauga’s campus (UTM) and at the Exam Centre on U of T’s St. George campus. Plans are in place for a vaccine clinic at U of T’s Scarborough campus (UTSC) as well.

St. Michael’s College

The University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) campus is no exception. For the past year, the Kelly Library, Registrar and Student Services, Canada Room, and the Faculty Dining Room have been closed to visitors. Similarly, campus activities, student clubs, and intramurals have all been conducted online. 

“I am very hopeful that we may begin to see a return to in-person instruction on campus this fall, and that we will see a gradual return to the vibrant campus that makes St. Mike’s such a great community,” says USMC President David Sylvester in an email to The Mike. He acknowledges that online and remote delivery have been important options for students, but he says that, “it is very clear that St. Mike’s students want to learn in an in-person environment.”

The Kelly Library, the COOP, and student residences are all preparing for re-opening. USMC has also recently updated its general guidelines and practices to protect the USMC community. “Our student life staff and SMCSU student leaders are eager to bring back campus activities, clubs, and intramurals,” Sylvester tells The Mike.  

Message from President David Sylvester

“I am very proud of how the St. Mike’s staff have responded to make our campus safe throughout the pandemic, so we will continue to build on the safety measures we have developed and the lessons learned since last March to continue to provide the safest of learning environments.  While everyone at St. Mike’s is doing their very best to make it possible to return to campus in September, it will depend on whether we can, together, keep the pandemic at bay.  Students can do their part right now: keep wearing a mask, stay socially distanced, and get your vaccine when you can.  If all goes well, we will be seeing each other again, face-to-face, in the Kelly Café and beneath the oak trees on Elmsley Lane and the Quad.”