The UTSC Campus Affairs Committee and the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee met on October 20 and October 21, respectively, outlining plans for an in-person winter semester, as well as a return to full capacity in research labs. The Academic Affairs Committee also heard updates on four new courses which will be available for winter 2022. 

Updates for winter 2022

William A. Gough, vice-principal academic and dean, provided updates on the mode of course delivery for the winter semester at UTSC at both committee meetings.

Gough explained that winter 2022 has been planned to be in person for a long time, saying that the administration has been operating under this assumption since the spring term. He elaborated, “We have not deviated from this basic plan, but we have heard concerns from the community.”

Addressing some concerns, Gough said, “As permitted by the province, we are not required to social distance in our classrooms, and so our classes will return to regular capacity in the winter.” Students and instructors will continue to be required to wear masks in the winter.

Additionally, outside the classroom, the campus will follow the regulations of step three of the Reopening Ontario Plan, which requires social distancing, crowd size limits, and masks. 

Research laboratories 

As of October 15, research laboratories at UTSC have returned to operating at full capacity. Irena Creed, vice-principal research and innovation, explained that the university “allows research laboratories… that meet the definition of instructional space to start to operate at full capacity, without two meter distancing as long as masks are worn in addition to any other applicable personal protective equipment.”

Creed added that research laboratories fit the criteria of an instructional space so long as they are “a place where either research infrastructure exists or other research activities take place.”

The UTSC Campus Affairs Committee and the UTSC Academic Affairs Committee will meet again on January 13 and January 10, respectively.