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U of T extends UMLAP consultation period to fall 2021 following student union demands

Two consultations sessions will be held in March
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The Governing Council Chambers in Simcoe Hall. SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY
The Governing Council Chambers in Simcoe Hall. SAMANTHA YAO/THE VARSITY

In an email from acting Vice-Provost Students Micah Stickel to student society leaders on Monday, the university has announced that it will be extending its consultation period for the controversial university-mandated absence of leave policy (UMLAP) to fall 2021. When enacted, the UMLAP allows U of T to place a student on leave due to concerns that they may pose risks to themselves or others. 

The policy’s review was previously scheduled to finish in May. The decision to extend comes after several student unions across all three campuses wrote a letter asking for more time, as reported by The Varsity on March 21. The request came on the grounds that students may not be aware of the review and that there would be no in-person consultations due to COVID-19. 

A U of T spokesperson wrote in an email to The Varsity that the university recognizes the challenges this year has posed to students, and that it shares “[the student unions’] interest in ensuring that students have an opportunity to engage in this review process.”

Stickel noted that the decision, while made through “careful consideration of a variety of factors,” was influenced by the request from the student unions.

In addition to an online consultation form and two open consultation sessions planned for March 23 and March 31, the review team will schedule more open sessions for the fall. A cohesive timeline for the review will become available in the near future.

Students, staff, and faculty will be able to register for these sessions through the consultation website

Editor’s note (March 22): This article has been updated to include comment from U of T Media Relations.