Students must leave Victoria College, UC residence amid COVID-19 outbreak

U of T says some residences to remain open

Victoria College and University College are requiring all students to move out of residence in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Victoria College students must vacate their dorms by March 19 at 8:00 pm unless they are approved to stay by the Office of the Dean of Students. University College students have until March 19 at 4:00 pm to inform the college if they need to stay on residence — otherwise, they must leave by March 21 at 11:59 pm.

U of T tweeted on March 18 that not all residences will be closing, though it is unclear which ones will remain open.

Dean of Students at Victoria College, Kelly Castle, wrote in an email that exceptional circumstances that would allow a student to extend their stay include students with travel restrictions, international students, out-of-province students who need extra time to organize their move, students who are self-isolating, and “students with other complex personal circumstances.” These circumstances were echoed in the email sent to University College students. 

Victoria College and UC students who leave by their respective deadline will be provided with a partial refund of their residence and meal plan fees. 

In addition, Victoria College students are not permitted to dine in Burwash Hall, meals there are now “pick-up-and go,” common spaces will be closed, and outside visitors are barred save for short-term guests assisting students with their move. 

Similarly, the Howard Ferguson Dining Hall at UC will only offer take-out options for students, Reznikoff’s Café and common spaces will be closed, and outside visitors must be approved unless they are helping move a student out of residence.

The Varsity has also confirmed with students at UTSC residences that students were asked to return home if they are able. 

Melinda Scott, Dean of Students at UC, emailed residents urging them to update their emergency contact information on ACORN and noted that while the university remains open, student services including the Health and Counselling Centre may face “disruptions to services or changes to operating times” and recommended students check directly with each service. 

Maintenance requests, the porters desk, emergency Dons on call will all continue to operate as normal at UC. 

This story is developing. More to come.

The Varsity has reached out to Victoria College and U of T media relations for comment.

Editor’s note (March 18, 4:14 pm): This article has been updated with new information from U of T that not all residences will close.

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