By Thea Gribilas, Edward Djan and Heidi Lee
Ryerson students, faculty and staff are expected to fully return to in-person learning by Feb. 28, with a gradual return to campus beginning on Jan. 31, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi announced on Wednesday.
The return to in-person learning will be program and faculty-specific with further guidance expected to be provided to students by their departments in the coming days.
“Our commitment to the health and safety of the university community continues to guide our decisions,” the statement reads. “In keeping with the ongoing direction provided by public health authorities, the university is confident that a return to our campus is safe.”
This comes after Ryerson pushed back its initial return to campus in the winter term as the Omicron variant surged in Ontario.
Lachemi cited that recent updates from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, indicates that the rate of hospitalizations and cases are decelerating which indicates that spread is slowing.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has indicated this week that the province plans on lifting some restrictions, while Ontario elementary and high school students also returned to class on Jan. 19.
Both the Ryerson library and Sheldon and Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre are currently open to students, faculty and staff. Appointments are needed to access the library, while both buildings can only be accessed through OneCards.
Lachemi said a return to in-person learning is “in the best interests of students.”
“We know that the collaboration and conversation that happens in classrooms and labs, the access to in-person supports both in the classroom and beyond, and the community and relationships created by on-campus extra-curricular activities are just a few of the benefits of returning to campus,” he said.