By Alexandra Holyk and Charlize Alcaraz
Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi announced Thursday that the university is “optimistic” about opening campus to limited in-person activities in the fall 2021 semester.
In the statement, Lachemi said the university will provide a “thorough update” on the fall semester by June 9—90 days before the start of the fall term.
“[90 days] is the minimum that you want to make sure that this will help people plan,” he said in an interview with The Eyeopener.
“We have too many…possibilities outside of our control and I think it’s too early from now to make an announcement about a plan for September if that plan is not going to be realistic.”
The announcement states that should campus re-open, limited in-person activities will be allowed. This includes “small classes and labs, extra-curricular activities, access to services and study space and experiential learning opportunities.”
However, the statement goes on to say that restrictions related to physical distancing could prohibit many in-person teaching activities and cut class sizes, meaning many classes will be facilitated online.
“We will continue to plan for ways we can facilitate in-person opportunities for students, even if all classes cannot occur face to face,” the statement reads. “Given these variables and unknowns, the university must continue to be flexible in our approach to planning for fall 2021.”
Ontario’s vaccination roll-out plan will transition to phase 2 in April to inoculate approximately 9 million people, including adults aged 60 to 79, individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and those who can’t work from home. By phase 3 in July, adults aged 59 years and younger will be eligible to be vaccinated.
With the growing vaccination rates and changes to government restrictions, Lachemi stated that the university is “increasingly optimistic” that on-campus activities will return to normal for winter 2022.