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Last updated: March 30, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

In an effort to answer questions and concerns regarding the quickly evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have activated a COVID-19 Information Centre staffed by Laurier employees.

Emails received by the centre will be checked regularly and will be responded to as soon as possible during regular business hours.

Please direct any questions, comments or concerns you have to coronavirusquestions@wlu.ca.

Classes and Exams

With classes cancelled, how will I complete my winter 2020 semester?

As of March 16, 2020, in-person classes are cancelled for the winter 2020 term. Most courses have moved online and all events that are not academic requirements have been cancelled.

Instructors will develop and communicate a plan by March 20 for alternative instruction and assessment to enable students to fulfil learning outcomes and receive course credits.

What will happen with mid-terms and final exams?

Students are not required to come back to campus to write mid-term or final exams. Students are still required to write final exams, but they will not take place in-person. Students will hear directly from their instructors by March 20 about any outstanding course work and assignments, as well as revised plans for how the final evaluation will be administered.

Will the deadline to drop a course from winter term be extended?

Yes. While the deadlines outlined in the academic dates section of the undergraduate academic calendar have passed, the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak have led the university to extend the last date to drop courses for the winter 2020 term to April 7, 2020.

The university understands that the changes to winter term 2020 may be stressful; however, dropping a course can have a significant impact on OSAP and/or Student Access Guarantee funding – now and in the future –as well as academic progression, and eligibility for an in-course scholarship, or renewal of the President's Gold Scholarship. Students should also be aware that changes in course load can result in decreased eligibility for funding and/or an over-award of funding already received this term.

Students are encouraged to become familiar with all the impacts. It is recommended that students consult with an academic advisor before reducing their course load. Service Laurier is also able to advise students on financial matters and can be reached at servicelaurier@wlu.ca.

Will I receive a refund for dropping a course?

No refunds will be issued to students who decide to drop a course.

Will I be able to opt for a CR/WD for the spring, intersession or summer terms?

The “credit/withdrawal” option applies only to winter term 2020.

I already dropped one of my courses because of my circumstances. Can I re-enrol?

Students who have dropped courses but who now wish to re-enrol because they believe they can earn the credit, will be offered an opportunity to do so. Course entry stipulations will be determined in consultation with the associate deans and will be subsequently communicated to students.

How will it affect my GPA if I opt for a CR?

CR grades would be excluded for the purposes of calculating a GPA.

Does this mean I don’t need to complete all of the courses required for my program?

Progression decisions are only being delayed, not eliminated. Students are still required to satisfy course and program prerequisites. The purpose of the extension to progression is to ensure that students are not removed from their program because of their performance in winter 2020 and allows a longer period to meet GPA requirements or to complete required courses. Please contact your academic advisor for details.

How does this affect my specialization?

The assessment of progression requirements, normally made in April or August 2020, has been extended up to 12 months to April or August 2021. Students will still be required to complete all required courses and honour all prerequisites for their program, but will not be removed from their program or the university because of winter term letter-grade results.

Where can I find additional information about OSAP?

The registration and finances page of the website offers additional information about OSAP.

Letter Grade, Credit or Withdraw

How do I opt in for a grade of CR or WD?

Students will be able to opt in for a grade of CR or WD once final grades are posted. This would apply to selected individual courses only. Instructions regarding this process are forthcoming.

Does opting for CR or WD impact my eligibility for Dean’s List?

Grades of CR/WD do not impact the required minimum overall GPA. To be eligible for the dean’s honour roll, students must have achieved a minimum overall GPA of 10.00 (A-) in all courses taken during the year (minimum of 5.0) credits, subject to exceptions for students registered with Accessible Learning.

Does opting for CR or WD impact my eligibility for In-Course Scholarships or the President’s Gold Scholarship Program?

Grades of CR/WD do not impact the required minimum overall GPA. Eligibility depends on meeting the requirements for each scholarship.

What is WD?

WD means the voluntarily withdraw without failure after two thirds of a course completed. WD appears on the transcript and is not eligible for refund consideration. The grade of WD does not count as a course attempt and does not impact a GPA.

If I choose WD, do I have to repeat the course?

Choosing WD would mean that no credit would be granted for the course (the student would need to make this up in a future term).

What is CR?

CR means credit. The grade of CR does not impact a GPA.

Do I have to complete the term to select CR?

Only passing grades can be noted as CR instead of a letter grade once final grades are posted.

Will my application to graduate school or other subsequent studies be affected if I select CR/WD?

Students are advised to consult with faculty advisors and the prospective graduate program(s) to ensure they understand the impact of this decision on their graduate school application(s). CPA Ontario, graduate programs, and other external institutions will continue to require that you meet their minimum standards in specified courses.

What if I need the underlying grade associated with CR/WD courses?

If necessary, students will be able to request a Registrar’s Letter that will explain the circumstances and that institutions may contact Enrolment Services directly if the underlying grade associated with CR/WD courses is required.

Campus Life and Events

Are university buildings and facilities open?

Some university buildings and facilities remain open. Many are closed.

For a full list of cancellations and closures, visit the cancellations and closures page.

Are events cancelled?

Yes, Laurier is cancelling or postponing all events not part of courses or academic requirements from noon on March 13 to April 30, 2020. This includes athletics and recreation.

Social distancing will be required at events that have not been cancelled. Social distancing refers to measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. By maintaining a distance of six feet from others when possible, people may limit the spread of the virus.

I am currently on a co-op placement. What happens next?

For all workplace-based experiential learning (co-op, community-service learning, practica, internship, workplace partnerships), the health and safety of students is paramount. Students should consult with the relevant co-op, practicum, or field placement office responsible for organizing placements in their program to jointly determine the best path forward, in consultation with the community partner or employer. All decisions should be made with health and safety foremost in mind.

I am currently conducting field research. What happens next?

All field research will stop as of Friday, March 20. Please contact your supervisor for instructions on next steps.

Is the Student Wellness Centre open?

The Student Wellness Centres on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses remain open, with updated hours and procedures in place.

Where can I park on campus?

Free short-term parking will be available in the white permit (student parking) lots on the Waterloo campus until April 28, 2020. This does not include overnight parking. Fire routes, accessible spaces, reserved spaces and loading docks remain restricted to authorized vehicles.

On-street parking is available in and around the Laurier Brantford campus. Please visit the City of Brantford's parking page for more information.

Residence

What is the deadline for the mandatory residence move-out?

Students are required to move out of Laurier-operated residences at all campus locations by Wednesday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m.

Why is the timeline for moving out so short?

The health of our students, staff and community is a priority for the university. This timeline is required to help flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19.

I have extenuating circumstances. Is help available?

Allowances will be made for students with exceptional circumstances. To request an exception for your situation or if you require additional assistance, contact the Department of Residence at housing@wlu.ca.

Will Food Services in Waterloo continue to operate?

Effective Saturday, March 21 through until Friday, March 27, the Fresh Food Co. will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. We will continue to update our students who are dependent on Food Services beyond that date for as long as they need our support.

What is required before I check out?

All students must complete full and proper check-out procedures, which includes the removal of belongings, confirming once you have vacated your residence and returning your keys.

I live in the Ezra-Bricker Apartments. Am I required to move out?

Ezra Bricker Apartment tenants are not required to move out of their apartments.

The message issued yesterday was specific to first-year residence buildings owned and operated by the university. Ezra-Bricker Apartments are managed by Campus Living Centres and operate no differently than any other apartment building.

Will I receive a refund for moving out early?

Residence students should have received an email to their @mylaurier.ca account on March 26 with details about reimbursements. 

Can I receive my residence and meal plan reimbursements via cheque/cash/direct deposit?

Residence fee reimbursements will appear as a credit in your LORIS account. If you have a positive balance in your LORIS account, you can request that your balance be deposited into your bank account through the Refund Request Form.

Meal plans, including Flex Dollars and Convenience Plan balances, cannot be reimbursed this way. However, you will receive a credit on your OneCard, which can be used anywhere the OneCard is accepted to purchase food when you return to campus. 

How are reimbursements calculated?

Students will be reimbursed for the percentage of the winter term remaining, based on the All-Access Meal Plan chosen and/or the building type and room. This time frame will be measured from the third week of March to the end of the term.

I’m eligible for a meal plan reimbursement, but I won’t be returning to Laurier or I’m changing campuses. How will I receive my reimbursement?

Please contact onecard@wlu.ca.

When can I expect to see credits on my LORIS and OneCard accounts?

Your reimbursements should be reflected in your accounts by May 1.

Will we pay tax on food purchased with our OneCards when we return to campus?

Students who purchase food using meal plans while living in residence do not pay HST, but this exemption doesn’t apply once students have moved out of residence.

How do I check the balance on my OneCard?

To check the balance on your OneCard account, visit the OneCard website and click Account Balances/Statements. If you’ve never logged in before, your account number is your nine-digit student number and your PIN number is your date of birth in this format: MM/DD/YYYY (e.g. Sept. 20, 2001 would be 09/20/2001). Once you’ve logged in, you can change your PIN. If you’ve forgotten your PIN, email onecard@wlu.ca and provide your full name and student number.  

How do I check my account balance in LORIS?

Log in to LORIS, click on the Student Services tab, then Student Account Summary.

Prevention and Social Distancing

What can I do to protect myself?

Continue to practise good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices. This includes washing thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and self-isolating if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Social distancing is recommended in all interactions. Social distancing refers to measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. By maintaining a distance of six feet from others when possible, people may limit the spread of the virus.

Should I wear a mask?

Generally, a mask is not required at this time although some may choose to wear one. Surgical masks, such as those sold in pharmacies, have limited value. Those in health care settings will follow the requirements of their facilities with respect to appropriate protective gear if they are working with suspected or confirmed cases.

What should I do if I’m sick or think I might be infected?

Please remain in self-isolation and contact your health care provider (your doctor, Telehealth at 1.866.797.0000 or, if it's an emergency, call 911) if:

  • You're experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • You've been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting results of a lab test.
  • You've been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • You've recently travelled outside of Canada.
  • You've recently been on a cruise ship.

The Government of Canada recommends self-monitoring if you have no symptoms but:

  • Have a history of possible exposure to the coronavirus in the last 14 days.
  • You have reason to believe you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.
  • You are in close contact with older adults or medically vulnerable people.

For more information about when to self-isolate or self-monitor, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada. Please see the following public health resource for more information about how to self-isolate and self-monitor.

How should I self-isolate?

Please see the following public health resource on self-isolation and self-monitoring.

I am feeling anxious and/or experiencing stress related to the COVID-19 health crisis. Is there someone I can talk to?

Laurier students have access to a wide range of mental health resources. Please reach out to the Student Wellness Centre if you are in need of support.

Waterloo Student Wellness Centre

Brantford Student Wellness Centre

Travel

I am affected by travel restrictions and cannot return to Canada. What should I do?

If students are unable to return to the university as a result of the travel restrictions, undergraduate students should contact academic advising in the faculty in which they are registered for appropriate support and counsel. Graduate students should contact their program advisor. Contact information is available on Laurier's Academic Advising webpage.

I am returning from travel. Do I need to self-isolate?

Based on the recommendation of the Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Laurier requires all staff, faculty and students who return from international travel to self-isolate for 14 calendar days from the date of their return.

Review our Travel Advisories page for information and processes related to self-isolation upon returning home.

I am a student on international exchange. What should I do?

The health and safety of students on international exchange is of utmost importance. Students will receive personalized counsel and advice. Together, the student, Laurier International, and the host institution will review the situation and determine the best course of action to complete the term.

I am planning to travel in the coming days. What should I do?

At this time, Laurier is not banning domestic travel. But we recommend that university-related domestic travel plans be carefully assessed based on the importance of the travel, the size of the event, and any other COVID-19 related risk factors.

The federal government has issued an advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Review our Travel Advisories page for information and processes related to international travel, domestic travel, and self-isolation upon returning home.

Future Students

How will COVID-19 impact my application?

Laurier and the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) are closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your application(s).

Laurier’s undergraduate admissions office is still assessing applications. Monitor your application status in LORIS using your Laurier network login and password. We will email you when you receive an admission decision.

We will continue to review key dates and deadlines to offer flexibility throughout the admission cycle to minimize the impact on your application.

Check the OUAC website for ongoing updates. Laurier will also provide ongoing updates to this FAQ section for future students.

Who Can I Contact if I Have Questions About My Application or Laurier?

Laurier is open and university operations have shifted to a virtual work environment, including the Recruitment and Admissions office and our campus Welcome Centres.

Please submit all inquiries via email to:

To learn more about Laurier and explore our campuses from home, use our new virtual Laurier experience. We have virtual reality tours, opportunities to talk to current students, live video podcasts and more.

Have Any Admissions Deadlines Changed?

The following deadlines have changed for fall 2020 admission as of March 20, 2020.

We will continue to review key dates and deadlines to offer flexibility throughout the admission cycle to minimize the impact on your application.

Can I Still Apply to Laurier?

Laurier has extended the application deadline for fall 2020 to May 1 (extended from April 1, 2020). This date may be extended as Laurier monitors the COVID-19 situation and its impact on future students.

Can I Take a Campus Tour or Visit Campus?

Due to the unfolding situation regarding COVID-19, and our concern for the well-being of our visitors, campus tours have been cancelled. Campus buildings are closed to visitors until further notice.

Laurier will monitor the situation and post updates to the Tours and Events webpage.

Experience Laurier From Home

During this time, we’re creating alternative ways to show students and their families what our campuses look like and share our student experience.

We’ve launched a virtual Laurier experience to bring our campuses to you! Access from anywhere at any time.

How Can I Explore Laurier's Campuses from Home?

We’ve launched a virtual Laurier experience to bring our campuses to you! And it’s much more than just tours (but we have those, too!). Access these resources from anywhere at any time.

Highlights include:

  • virtual reality tours
  • weekly video podcasts (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET)
  • recordings of previous podcasts
  • opportunities to talk to current students
  • webinars on admissions
  • and more!

What If I Can’t Write an English Proficiency Test?

Laurier’s undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions office is committed to assisting applicants whose ability to take an English proficiency test has been impacted by the closures of English language testing centres due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency to our Recruitment and Admissions office.

The following initiatives have been created to help applicants meet our English proficiency requirement.

Continue to check this FAQ for ongoing updates.

How to Meet Laurier’s English Proficiency Requirement

My School is Closed.  What Happens if I Can't Submit My Transcripts and/or My Final Exams are Cancelled? 

We understand that this is a stressful time for you and that you are facing many unknowns, such as when your school will re-open and how they will assess and determine your final grades. We’re committed to helping you achieve your goal of attending Laurier and will make every effort to accommodate applicants.

We will accept what schools, institutions and other governing bodies (i.e. standardized testing services) provide as your final, official grades to ensure that students are able to enrol at Laurier.

If you have received an offer of admission:

We will accept what your institution sends us as your final, official grades in order to clear the conditions listed on your offer of admission.

If you haven’t received an admission decision:

We will accept what your institution sends us as your final, official grades in order determine your eligibility for admission to Laurier.

If you receive any updated or midterm grades, please upload an unofficial copy in your LORIS account.

Submitting final transcripts:

You must ensure your school or institution sends us final, official copies of your documents by July 15, 2020; however, Laurier will provide flexibility if you require an extension. You should email chooselaurier@wu.ca or international@wlu.ca if you are concerned your documents will be late and submit a digital copy to documentsubmission@wlu.ca. Laurier will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and update key dates and deadlines.

I Am Experiencing Hardship that is Affecting My Academic Performance. What Should I Do?

We understand that the COVID-19 situation affects applicants differently and that you may be experiencing prolonged difficulties. The well-being of future students is important to Laurier and we want to help students achieve their goal of attending university.

The Recruitment and Admissions office has a number of resources to help applicants. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and create new supports in response.

  1. Submit the Applicant Background Summary Form within two weeks of applying to Laurier. The last date the ABS form can be submitted is April 29, 2020. This is how you will share information with us about your extracurricular involvement and personal achievements. This form is submitted in your LORIS account. See instructions on the admissions website.
  2. Laurier has a ‘Special Cases or Extenuating Circumstances’ review process. If recent or present circumstances have impacted your ability to achieve a strong academic standing, submit a personal statement to chooselaurier@wlu.ca or international@wlu.ca. It is your decision to disclose any supporting details.

Note: The Special Cases or Extenuating Circumstances review process is different from the ABS form. Do not include information about extenuating circumstances on your ABS form. These items should be submitted separately.

COVID-19 Information

What is the Novel Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

In January 2020, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. The latest statistics for Ontario are available at ontario.ca/coronavirus.

What is the risk?

The risk of more severe illness may be higher for individuals with weakened immune systems such as older people or chronic diseases such as diabetes, or heart, renal or chronic lung disease.

The university is taking its guidance from public health agencies at the local, provincial and federal level, who are closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance.

The number of cases is growing across the country. To stay up to date on the number of new cases and containment measures, visit public health agencies' websites or follow the news.

What are the symptoms of novel Coronavirus?

Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

Many of these symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza. Should you experience these symptoms and have recently travelled internationally, self-isolate and follow-up with your health-care professional. Advise your health professional in advance of your symptoms and travel history.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 from a package shipped from a country impacted by the novel coronavirus?

Coronaviruses do not generally survive for long on surfaces. The risk of spread from products or packaging that travel at room temperature for many days is very low. There is no current evidence supporting transmission of COVID-19 through imported goods.

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