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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Update 7: December 15, 2021

Ontario Tech’s proactive steps in managing Omicron variant

As you are aware, the university implemented a mandatory vaccination directive, which is in place until Fall 2022. As we head towards the end of the year, the pandemic continues to evolve at an accelerated pace. While concerns are mounting, there are still many unanswered questions about the COVID-19 Omicron variant. We want to thank our community for all of your hard work in keeping the university operational through a global pandemic.

As a continuation of our safety-first approach to COVID-19, the university is being proactive to enhance the health and safety of the campus community and to provide as much certainty as possible as we move towards the holiday break and the beginning of the winter term.

The current final exam schedule for Fall term courses will continue as originally planned with current health and safety protocols in place, including mask wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing.

Winter term classes will begin one week later and start Monday, January 17 in online formats only. Classes will remain online until at least Monday, January 31. We will monitor the situation and communicate any additional updates once we have a better sense of the Omicron variant direction.

Except for those performing essential services that require an on-campus presence, all employees are asked to work remotely as of Monday, December 20, unless an earlier public-health directive is implemented. Remote work will resume on Monday, January 10, except for those who are required to be on campus. 

This extra week will provide the campus community with the time needed to receive a third (booster) dose as we anticipate that booster shot availability will be accelerated. The federal government has stated that they have secured enough vaccines for all eligible Canadians to receive first, second and third doses. We are reviewing the university’s mandatory vaccination directive and will communicate any changes to this directive in early January.

Building access: All buildings will close on Monday, December 20. In the meantime, libraries, study spaces and exam locations will remain accessible, with current health and safety protocols (mask wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing) in place.

Residences: Students will be welcomed back to residence on Friday, January 14 instead of Friday, January 7. Students may also choose to remain at home until Monday, January 31 and attend their first two weeks of classes online. Residences will remain open to those students who are not leaving campus over the holiday season and all current public-health precautions will remain in place. 

Students, including international students, should contact Residence if there are individual circumstances that require alternative arrangements.

Athletics: Our athletic facilities will close as of Monday, December 20 and re-open on Monday, January 17 (should public-health guidelines permit). Exceptions will be made for structured varsity activities and high-performance training.

These aforementioned scheduling changes will provide important health and safety benefits as one semester ends and another begins. By planning in advance, we hope that everyone enjoys their upcoming holiday time, and focuses on the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. We urge our campus community to use this extended time off to get a booster shot to best protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and its variants.

Vaccinations are our best defence against COVID-19 and there was an outstanding response to our mandatory vaccine policy. As your opportunity for a booster shot arises, we encourage you to roll up your sleeve to continue to protect yourself, family, friends, and the campus community.

As always, we will continue to liaise with the Province of Ontario and Durham Region Health Department, and provide additional planning updates early in the new year. By then, we should have a clearer picture of how the Omicron variant is playing out in our society and affecting our campus community.

Please stay well and thank you for your thoughtfulness and support as we move through the pandemic together. Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season.

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