Since the spring, Western University has been preparing for the return to class this fall.
Dozens of protocols are in place including a reduction in the number of students at the various residences on campus.
“Certainly residences are high density living areas and we've wanted to convert many of our rooms to ensure that all of our bedrooms in our traditional style residences are single occupancy,” says Chris Alleyne, the associate vice-president of housing at Western.
“It does decrease our overall capacity and we are expecting about 3,800 students on campus which is about 70 per cent of our normal capacity.”
Rules in the dining halls have also changed. “There are limits around our seating areas and all the food will be staff served versus self-serve,” adds Alleyne.
The university has also kicked off a new campaign called “Take Care Western." It's aimed at making the school year safer for students.
“We're reaching out to members of our campus in a variety of ways - a video social media campaign, posters, buttons, stickers, T-shirts, all with the goal of bringing the campus together to play an active role in making our community as safe as possible,” says Jennie Massey, the associate vice-president of student experience.
Other changes have also been made to help students. “All of our students supports that are typically available on campus will also be available virtually, whether that's career advising, leadership development, mental health supports, wellness programming, we're ready to ensure that students have a fabulous academic year,” says Massey.
Students are set to start moving into residences on Thursday.