Winter Term FAQ

Updated: Jan. 19, 2022

These frequently asked questions continue to be updated with new information and in response to questions.

Winter Term 2022

Why aren’t all courses returning to in person delivery on January 31st?

Wilfrid Laurier University and other postsecondary institutions have been monitoring information, data and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this information, and with support from the Medical Officers of Health in the Region of Waterloo and Brant County, we will begin to resume in-person instruction in a four-phased approach between Jan. 31 and Feb. 28 based on class size and activity, provided public health guidance allows. These modifications allow us to keep the health and safety of the Laurier community as our top priority.

How will I know when my classes resume in person delivery?

We encourage students to consult the course list on the student website to confirm the date that each of their courses, labs and experiential learning activities return to in-person instruction. Note that many students will have a mix of in-person and remote learning throughout the phases. Instructors will contact students directly about experiential learning opportunities not listed on the website.

Will any classes continue remotely for the full winter term?

Between Jan 31 and Feb. 28, classes will return to in person delivery. Students should consult the course list on the student website to confirm the date that each of their courses, labs and experiential learning activities return to in-person instruction.

Going forward and building on the experience acquired during the pandemic, our instructors are continuing to explore new ways of combining in-person and technology-enabled learning for our on-campus courses. And, as we have in the past, Laurier will continue to offer a range of fully online courses to our students.

Will six-week courses (whether 0.25 or 0.5 credit) resume in-person learning on Jan. 31 given that there will only be two weeks of classes remaining?

Students should consult with their instructor, as this will depend on the nature of the course and the associate learning outcomes.

Will the CR option be available for the winter term?

As the university’s Senate-approved Academic Disruption will be in effect until the end of February to enable the phased return to in-person instruction, the CR credit option will be available for students to choose following completion of the term. All criteria and regulations pertaining to the CR credit option remain.

Full details are available on the Credit (CR) option information page.

Will remote learning in January prolong the term or push back exams?

Winter term academic dates remain the same. Winter term 2022 began as planned on Jan. 4 – it is only the mode of delivery that has been adjusted until Jan. 31.

I do not feel comfortable attending campus in person when Laurier returns to in-person learning after Jan. 31. Why can’t I just continue taking my course remotely if the professor has already set it up that way?

The university has communicated since May 2021 that winter-term courses would be delivered in person to allow students to make appropriate plans. The remote delivery between the beginning of winter term and Feb. 28, as announced Dec. 16, 202, is a short-term emergency modification to the start of our winter term. These modifications to in-person courses were made in response to information and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic and the cycle and spread of the Omicron variant. These modifications keep the health and safety of the Laurier community as our top priority – and will allow us to continue with plans to deliver the remainder of the winter term in person as public health direction allows, and with health and safety procedures in place.

Many students have expressed their desire to return to our campuses to experience their classes in person, as well as participate in activities on campus and engage with peers, instructors, and staff. Our mandatory vaccine policy and face covering policy remain in place for the winter term, alongside numerous other safety protocols we've implemented in order to keep our campus community safe.

Going forward and building on the experience acquired during the pandemic, our instructors are continuing to explore new ways of combining in-person and technology-enabled learning for our on-campus courses. And, as we have in the past, Laurier will continue to offer a range of  fully online courses to our students.

Will food services be open?

Select food services are open. Visit the dining on campus website for more information.

Will the gym be open?

Due to Ontario moving to "Modified – Level 2" in the provincial COVID-19 framework, the Department of Athletics and Recreation will be closing its facilities on Waterloo and Brantford campuses, effective Jan. 5, 2022 until further notice.

Visit the Laurier Athletics website for more details about winter term.

Will study spaces be open?

Study spaces are available to support student needs and access to Wi-Fi.

What is being done to support students’ mental health?

Health and wellness services and resources are available to support students. Please visit the Health and Wellness website for information.

I don’t believe that remote course delivery offers the same level of education as in-person courses. How can I request a tuition discount?

Based on the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Laurier made short-term emergency modifications to the start of our winter term to keep the health and safety of the Laurier community as our top priority. Following our phased return, the remainder of the winter term will be delivered in person provided public health direction allows.

As with the fall term, Laurier is committed to delivering high-quality, engaging courses. To cover program costs – expenditures on staff training, enhancements to online capability, and supports for students and faculty – as well as the ongoing costs of maintaining campus facilities, Laurier has kept tuition fees in line with last year’s tuition. This is the same approach that has been taken by all other Ontario universities.

Visit the tuition page for more information about tuition fees. We recognize that financial burdens are being felt more acutely during this period and that is why we have invested in additional financial aids for our students. If you require any assistance to cover the cost of your education, visit Financial Supports for Students for information about what is available to you.

I am paying for services that I will now not be able to access until later in the winter term. Will I receive a discount/refund?
As with the fall 2021 term, the majority of Laurier services will continue to be offered to students either virtually or in-person during the month of January as public health restrictions allow. Please visit the COVID-19 student website for more information about the service you are looking for.
If choose not to move into residence until February, can I get a partial refund? Will my spot be held for me?

Residence students are invited to contact housing@wlu.ca directly for information.

I no longer want to live in residence. Where can I get information about cancelling?

Residence students are invited to contact housing@wlu.ca directly for information.

I am international student with questions about travel restrictions, vaccinations and quarantine. Where can I get more information?

Vaccinations

What are the vaccination requirements?

Everyone must have received a second dose or valid exemption to attend a Laurier location for any reason.

Winter 2022: The university’s mandatory vaccination policy remains in effect and students must be fully vaccinated to take part in in-person courses or activities. 

Is SAFEHawk the only vaccination verification required or will students be asked for their provincial passport for some amenities?

The Government of Ontario COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be accepted as proof of vaccination for campus amenities such as dining, events and recreation. The SAFEHawk vaccination passport cannot be used as proof of vaccination in these areas.

What type of vaccination is approved?

Wilfrid Laurier University will require all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated with Health Canada or World Health Organization approved vaccines.

International students can contact wellness@wlu.ca (Waterloo campus) or lbwellnesscentre@wlu.ca (Brantford campus) with specific questions.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

As described in Laurier's COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy: An individual is fully vaccinated if they have received the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada/World Health Organization and they received their last dose at least 14 days before the date of the self-declaration.

Will the university add boosters to the vaccination requirements?

Vaccinations are a key tool in defending against COVID-19. We encourage students, faculty and staff to book their booster vaccinations, which the Government of Ontario has opened up to those 18 and over as of Dec. 20. At this time, proof of booster vaccinations is not required under Laurier’s vaccination policy. The university will continue to monitor government and public health direction and will align its vaccination policy requirements accordingly.

I am having trouble finding a vaccine booster appointment. Will Laurier be offering a vaccination clinic?

Those seeking to book the soonest possible COVID-19 vaccination appointment in Waterloo Region should visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health website. In Brantford, visit the Brant County Health Unit website for vaccination clinic information. Appointments can also be made through Ontario’s booking portal.

On the Waterloo campus, the Student Wellness Centre is holding COVID-19 third-dose vaccination clinics for registered Laurier students on Jan. 7, 10, 14, 17 and 24. You must book an appointment.

I am an online degree program – do I need to be vaccinated under Laurier’s policy?

Note that students who are enrolled in fully online degree programs – i.e. programs such as online criminology and policing, public safety or social work – who are not required to attend a Laurier campus at any time during their degree program and do not have any plans to visit a Laurier location at any time, do not fall under the university’s vaccination policy and are not required to upload their vaccination status.

I am not planning to get vaccinated and do not have a valid exemption. What do I do?

Students who do not plan to get vaccinated and who do not have a valid exemption and are currently attending Laurier’s locations or plan to attend Laurier’s locations in winter 2022 will not meet the requirements of the university’s mandatory vaccination policy.

Consequences for students who do not comply with this policy include one or more of the following: being unable to attend Laurier’s campuses or locations; having access to MyLearningSpace suspended for in-person courses; being de-registered from in-person courses; and being unable to take part in in-person courses.

Students should contact academic advising regarding their courses.

I am an international student and will not be able to get my vaccination in time/am unsure if my vaccine is recognized. Whom do I contact?

International students should email laurierinternational@wlu.ca and lbwellnesscentre@wlu.ca for direction about obtaining a vaccination and to ensure their circumstances are shared with the appropriate departments. For more information, please visit the international student FAQs.

I have in-person courses to complete in order to graduate or progress but I do not meet the vaccination requirement – how can I complete these courses?
Students can contact academic advising regarding their courses, but the university is under no obligation to ensure program requirements can be met by students who will be not attending campus in person because they have not complied with the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy.
What are the consequences if I attend campus without complying with the vaccination policy?
Any student who comes to a Laurier location – for any reason – while not in compliance with the university’s government-mandated COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy will be subject to serious consequences under the Non-Academic Code of Conduct. These consequences could include suspension from the university.
What kind of vaccination proof do I need to provide and where can I find it?
You can obtain your proof of vaccination at covid19.ontariohealth.ca. After accepting the terms of use, you will be prompted to enter your health card number, at which point you can download your receipt(s) from your COVID-19 vaccine(s). Take a picture of the documents or save a screenshot from your phone. Out-of-province or international students can contact their local health authorities for information. These receipts can be uploaded to the SafeHawk app to obtain your vaccination passport.
How do I show proof of full vaccination?

The Government of Ontario COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be accepted as proof of vaccination for campus amenities such as dining, events and recreation. The SAFEHawk vaccination passport cannot be used as proof of vaccination in these areas.

Do my vaccine receipts need to be translated to English?

You can upload your documents in any language and they will be translated for you.

Can I request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to attend campus?

Yes. Anyone who is unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to submit a request for exemption through the forms provided on the SAFEHawk app Vaccine Passport section. Assessment of the exemption requests will be completed by Human Resources for employees and the Wellness Centre or Dean of Students’ Office for students.

You will be required to follow the additional health and safety protocols and rapid testing program requirements outlined by the university and in line with recommendations from public health to attend campus. Full details about rapid testing requirements and processes will be shared directly with those who qualify for the program.

I am requesting an exemption for reasons of religious beliefs or creed. How do I get my request sworn or affirmed before a Commissioner of Oaths?

A Commissioner of Oaths is an individual with authority to administer oaths, affirmations and declarations. Commissioning a document verifies its integrity and is common in a range of commercial and legal transactions. In Ontario, a number of individuals may commission an oath or affirmation, including lawyers and paralegals, as well as clerks, deputy clerks, treasurers and deputy treasurers of municipalities. You can find further information for the Region of Waterloo and for the City of Brantford. There will typically be a nominal fee involved for the service.

Deregistration

Why were students deregistered?

Students who are non-compliant with the university’s government-mandated COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy were deregistered from their winter term in-person courses. 

In line with provincial government requirements, Laurier requires all students to be vaccinated or have a valid exemption to attend in-person classes and activities on Laurier’s campuses. The university has communicated its vaccination requirement since August, and since the end of October has reminded students with increasing urgency that they must upload their current vaccination status to avoid deregistration. 

Will my tuition be adjusted based on my deregistered courses?
Student accounts will be re-assessed to reflect the new course load cost as per usual fee adjustment guidelines. You can find more information about dropping courses and penalties on the webpage for Invoicing and Accounts. 
Will I receive a refund?

Potential credit balances will be assessed using the regular refunding processes.

What happens to my scholarship?

Scholarships will be adjusted on a case-by-case basis based on your revised course load. You can check the specific scholarship program requirements. Any changes to scholarship or award amounts will be reflected on LORIS under "Student Awards & Financial Aid" > "View my Funding" > "Aid year 2021-2022." 

If you are an OSAP student and you received a scholarship or bursary, your OSAP account will be updated following our usual processes. 

If you have specific questions related to your scholarship eligibility, contact Service Laurier for more details. 

What happens to my OSAP?
To remain eligible for full-time OSAP funding you must remain registered in a minimum 60% course load (40% course load for students registered with a permanent disability). If your course load falls below a full-time OSAP course load, contact the Laurier Financial Aid Office to discuss the financial implications. 

OSAP applications will be adjusted to reflect any change to student registration and updated information can be found on your OSAP account.
I believe I was de-registered in error, whom can I contact for assistance?
If you believe your deregistration has occurred in error (e.g., you are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption and you entered your information in the SAFEHawk app), contact studentfeedback@wlu.ca.
Can I be re-registered in my on-campus courses?
The last day to add a winter term course was Jan. 17. Students needed to be fully vaccinated and have uploaded their second-dose vaccination receipt to SAFEHawk by this time (i.e., have received their second dose two weeks prior) in order to re-register in their winter term course.
I uploaded my status to the SAFEHawk app and now have a green badge. How quickly will my registration hold be lifted?
The hold will be automatically lifted within two business days.
My registration hold has been lifted, but I am unable to re-enroll in the course(s) I was deregistered from as it is now full. Can I be re-registered into the same course(s)?
If a course is full, students can join the waitlist (if applicable) or continue to check LORIS for a space to become available. Once a course is deregistered, re-registration in the same courses(s)/section(s) is not guaranteed.
I have a vaccine compliance registration hold and would like to register in an Online Learning course. How can I register in an Online Learning course?
Students who have a Vaccine Compliance Hold and are requesting to add online courses only will be able to do so through the Request to Add Online Courses with Vaccine Compliance Hold form. Such requests will not be completed if you have any additional registration holds.
I have a registration hold and would like to drop an Online Learning course. How can I drop an Online Learning course?
I'm a BBA student who was previously deregistered but now I've uploaded my proof of vaccination and my registration hold has been lifted. What should I do next?
BBA students who have their registration hold lifted should contact bbaadvising@wlu.ca to be added back to their core courses.

Health & Safety

Do I still need to wear a mask and follow health and safety protocols if I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. Currently, Laurier’s face-covering policy and all other health and safety protocols and policies, including daily self-assessment, apply to anyone attending campus regardless of their vaccination status.

What cleaning protocols are in place?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the university has had rigorous protocols in place for sanitizing and cleaning campus areas. Hand sanitizer units will be provided in common areas and disinfectant wipes and sprays will be available to encourage additional cleaning measures by individuals using shared spaces.

What adjustments has Laurier made to improve air quality in the buildings on Laurier’s campuses?

Laurier’s Facilities and Asset Management team has been looking at research and best practices from across North America, including by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), on how to minimize infectious aerosols.

Approaches are matched for each of Laurier’s varying building types to the ventilation-related strategies that best suit that building. Right now, 50% more fresh air is being brought into Laurier buildings through the economizers in the HVAC systems. In addition to increasing the dilution of air, upgraded MERV filters have been installed to filter out more particles.

How will health and safety protocols be enforced?

Laurier’s focus will be on educating and communicating with students, staff, and faculty about our shared responsibility in following safety protocols while attending our campuses and classrooms to ensure the health and safety of our university community. Refusal to abide by the required safety protocols and mandatory face covering and vaccination policies will be addressed through the regular corrective action processes that exist for students and employees.

Students can find on-campus protocols and safety information through the COVID-19 student website.

What if I have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are informed of a positive case of COVID-19, please follow the appropriate protocols:

You are also encouraged to visit the COVID-19 in Ontario website for information on self-assessment and the COVID Alert mobile app.

If I am sick or need to quarantine how do I ask for accommodations?

Students should strictly follow the Protocols for students with COVID-19 symptoms. The Illness Self-Declaration Form can be used to request academic consideration for course work (excluding final exams) due to medical reasons, in lieu of a medical document. This form will automatically be forwarded to the instructor teaching the course to support your request.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

We understand that each decision made by Laurier as part of our recovery efforts has a personal impact on our community members. We remain committed to the guiding principles of our recovery work with the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty at the forefront:

  • Safeguard the health and safety of our university community.
  • Maintain academic and research excellence.
  • Enhance our exceptional student experience.
  • Demonstrate our commitment to the care and well-being of our employees.
  • Continue to partner with our local communities as an anchor institution.

If you have any questions related to Laurier's vaccinations requirement, please reach out to coronavirusquestions@wlu.ca.

Employees: If you have any questions related to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, please reach out to hr@wlu.ca.