General FAQ

Academic Year 2020-21
The following information is for residence students for the 2020-21 academic year. As planning evolves, we will keep the campus community updated through this page.
Updated as of May 22, 2020

Accordion Info

1. Will residences be open in the fall?

We are currently planning to have residences open in the fall when the campus welcomes all students for their new school year. Planning is underway to ensure that we can accommodate students while implementing physical distancing models if required.

In the event the government or public health officials issue any directives to advise this is not possible, we will communicate to all students as soon as it is known.

2. What will happen with my residence fee if there is a delay in occupancy or termination of residence contract due to COVID-19?

We hope to resume our normal activities as much as possible in the fall of 2020. However, we must also prepare should the pandemic threaten the health and wellness of our community. Due to the uncertainty created by COVID-19, Western University reserves the right to delay occupancy or terminate the residence contract, in the event that: (1) the University determines that it is prudent or necessary to do so for reasons of public health or student safety, or (2) the University is required by law, order or directive to close one or more of its residences, to limit the number of persons residing in residence, or such other law, order or directive affecting the normal operation of its residences. In such circumstances, Western University will provide you with reasonable notice and either reduce your residence fees or refund you a prorated amount of any prepaid residence fee.

3. If I move into residence in September, will there be any physical distancing and disinfection measures in place?

With the pandemic situation evolving daily, we are taking our direction and instruction from the government and local health authorities. One scenario we are exploring for the fall is the need to de-densify our buildings by converting some double rooms into single rooms, to support physical distancing. Doing this would lower our residence capacity and we are currently exploring additional housing options to accommodate the extra spaces we may need.

Enhanced cleaning of our residences is currently being planned for the fall. This includes more frequent sanitization of touch surfaces in public areas, with caretaking staff schedules expanding to seven days a week, and an extended presence beyond traditional business hours.

Our caretaking team has also adopted new technology to mitigate the spread of germs. Using new electrostatic sprayers (eSprayers), the team is disinfecting campus facilities more effectively and efficiently than with traditional cloth wipes. The eSprayers are filled with the same environmentally friendly disinfectant solution, ES65H, a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner that is DIN registered and certified for use in LEED buildings. In independent testing, ES65H has proved effective against coronavirus.

In light of physical distancing and to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, in-room cleaning service will not be provided in residence. Instead, cleaning products will be available for our students to sanitize and clean their private washrooms in hybrid- and suite-style residences. Students living in suite-style residences are also responsible for cleaning the shared kitchens within their suites.

Where maintenance by a tradesperson is necessary, students may be asked to vacate their room/suite while work is being performed to maintain physical distancing requirements. The same practice will be applied to common areas such as lounges, study rooms and floor washrooms, where caretakers may require students to leave while cleaning takes place.

4. Will my residence experience be the same as those of previous years? What will residence programming look like?

The beauty of the residence experience is that it is different every year, as you will get out of it what you put in. In residence, you will still have access to the same support and resources in your residence community, but in response to physical distancing measures, the way it is delivered may change. Similar to the University’s academic programs, residence programing will be delivered through a hybrid model—some in person while others might be online.

5. In residence dining halls, will there be any extra sanitizing and physical distancing measures?

We’re implementing a number of safety measures within the dining halls. Prior to entry, a dining hall staff member will ensure students have utilized the hand sanitizer station, and actively monitor the number of people inside the servery. If capacity is reached, a dining hall employee will help students into a designated waiting area with physical distancing markers.

Once inside the dining hall, students will be directed using wayfinding to ensure a safe flow of traffic, with physical distancing markers on the floor. Most food items will be pre-packaged for students to take their meals back to their bedrooms, as seating areas may be closed, or significantly limited. We are shifting many of our food choices from a self-serve model to a full-service model, where our dining hall staff will assist students with various items.

Our dining hall staff have an enhanced cleaning plan in place, to ensure that high-touch surfaces are regularly sanitized. Our Health & Safety Manager works closely with the local Health Unit, to ensure we are implementing best practices and closely following industry guidelines around food safety.

6. How will the meals in dining halls be prepared and served?

We will continue using fresh ingredients to provide diverse chef-crafted food offerings, including vegan, vegetarian and allergen-friendly choices. We are reviewing our menus and hours of operation and will likely extend our mealtimes to accommodate the extra time it may take to navigate the dining halls, with lowered capacities to support physical distancing requirements. We are suspending all self-serve concepts and are expanding quick service of prepared foods, and pre-packaged grab-and-go options. We are implementing procedures to limit the amount of direct contact with food during preparation, by utilizing more pre-cut products, and are strengthening the already high food safety standards employed during service.

7. If I pay my residence prepayment and then I defer, can I get a refund?

If you accept a residence offer and later formally defer your academic admission until the following year, our normal cancellation policy will apply. That is, if you cancel before August 4, 2020, you would receive a $450 refund. If you cancel after August 4, 2020, you would forfeit your $900 prepayment.

For the following year, you would be expected to formally reapply to Western. Provided that your academic status has not changed (i.e., is still considered a student coming directly from high school) and you receive an academic offer, you should receive a new offer of residence with your academic package. If you paid a prepayment in the previous year, and forfeited either $450 or $900, this amount can be carried forward and applied to the new school year.

Review more information on residence withdraw and refund policies. This is where we’ll communicate any updates once they’re available.

8. If I pay my residence prepayment and then cancel, do I get a refund?

If your written notice of cancellation is received by the Housing Office at no later than August 4, 2020, you will receive half of the $900 prepayment. If you cancel your residence offer after that date, you will forfeit your $900 residence prepayment.

9. I am an international student and plan to live in residence for the new school year. If I have to self-quarantine for two weeks when I arrive on campus, can I get into residence early?

Western is planning to allow international students to move into residence early in order to self-quarantine for 14 days as per the advice from public health officials. Dates when we are accepting early arrivals will be communicated in the near future. Students requiring early arrival will NOT be charged the residence room rate during the quarantine time period.

10. If classes are online in the fall, does Western provide reliable internet services to students living in residence?

Yes. RezNet is Western’s internet service provider in residence, offering a high-speed wired connection in your bedroom, as well as connectivity throughout the residence building on our wireless network. There is no monthly bandwidth limit, and a technical support team is available to help you get connected. The cost for this service is $395 for the 2020-21 academic year.

11. When will I know if I have a spot in residence for the fall?

If you are a single student, coming directly from high school, and have received an offer of full-time, first-year admission to Western, your accommodation is guaranteed. You are required to pay a $900 prepayment to accept your residence offer on or before the deadline date indicated with your academic offer. It is important to complete the online Residence Placement Questionnaire at on or before this deadline. Please pay close attention to additional deadlines. The first instalment of residence fees is due August 4, 2020 for first-year students. Failure to meet the requirements by these deadline dates may result in the cancellation of your residence space.

Students who do NOT meet our guaranteed offer requirements are still eligible to apply to the residence waiting list if they are single and are academically admissible for full-time studies on Main Campus. Residence offers will be made throughout the summer if spaces become available.

Upper-year students
Applications for our upper-year residence spaces for 2020-21 academic year opened in November 2019, and there is currently a waitlist. Please log in to to complete an application and add yourself to the waitlist. Offers of spaces to those on the waitlist will be made throughout the summer, as spaces become available.

Exchange students
Starting in June, residence offers will begin to go out to exchange students. This will continue through the summer, as spaces become available.

Summer 2020

Updated as of May 15, 2020

Accordion Info

1. Can students stay in residence during the summer?

Essex Hall and London Hall residences are open from May 1 to August 23, 2020 for all Main Campus Western students in need of accommodation. This housing has been put in place to support students who cannot return home due to travel restrictions, health, personal circumstances or various obligations. For students registered at the Affiliated University Colleges, please check with your housing offices for specific arrangements. Please check out our summer housing website for more details.

2. Where can I get meals on campus during the summer?

The dining hall in Essex Hall Residence is open from 11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. seven days a week. Our daily set menu offers feature salads, made fresh bowls, made-to-order hot favourates, as well as a variety of packaged grab-and-go options. Meals are served in disposable containers for take-out.

Western employees returning to campus and all students staying in Summer Housing are welcome and encouraged to grab takeout meals offered in Essex Hall. You can make purchase using your WesternOneCard (if you have a meal plan), debit card or credit card. No cash will be accepted.

Academic Year 2019-20
The following information is for students who lived in residence for the 2019-20 academic year.

Updated as of March 20, 2020

Accordion Info

1. Do I get a refund if I have moved out of residence permanently?

All students who chose to move out permanently may be eligible for a refund provided they have vacated their residence room by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday , March 22, 2020 and notified the front desk of their move either in-person, or over the phone.  The residence credit will be applied to your Student Center account.

If you prefer to have the funds directly deposited into your bank account, you can sign up in your Student Center before March 31, 2020. Refund via direct deposit will be issued shortly after the residence credit has been applied on your Student Center by mid-April.

If you have not signed up for direct deposit, your credit on your Student Center account will be applied towards your future registration.

Please note, if you have a balance owing on your Student Center account, the credit amounts will go towards paying off that balance first, and any amount left over will be available as a refund or credit.

International students with a credit on their Student Center who require a bank wire refund will need to reach out to

2. How much will my residence credit be?

Room Rate

Housing will credit the value of approximately six weeks of your residence room. This room rate will be based on your residence and room type (single, double, bunk). For those students who moved out before 11:59 p.m. Sunday March 22, you’ll receive a personalized email by mid-April, outlining your specific room rate credit amount.  


For those who have subscribed to RezNet, Housing will credit $75 of your RezNet subscription (approximately six weeks of the $395 eight-month subscription). 

Meal Plan Overhead Fee

For those students with a meal plan, Housing will credit $580 of your meal plan overhead (approximately six weeks of the $3,100 meal plan overhead fee). 

For the remaining balance of your food credit (residence dollars and flex dollars), see the question below.

3. What will happen to my remaining meal plan food credit?

If you will not be returning to live in residence next year, the remaining balance of the food credit portion of your Residence Meal Plan will be automatically transferred to a Campus Meal Plan. A Campus Meal Plan can be used at any on-campus eatery or with selected off-campus dining partners.

If you will be living in residence next year, these funds will be added to your flex dollars of the Residence Meal Plan. For more information on your meal plan breakdown, view our website here. At any time you may check your remaining meal plan balance here.

Alternatively, you can submit a request in the myhousing portal to have your remaining meal plan food credit be applied towards your Student Center account before March 31, 2020.

4. How do I request my remaining meal plan funds be credited to my Student Center account?

You can log into the myHousing Portal to submit a request for any remaining meal plan food credit to be applied towards your Student Center account. Once you have logged in, select Residence and then the Current Academic Year. You will then see the option to Request Remaining Meal Plan Funds to be Applied to Student Center for 2019-20

5. When will I know my residence credit details?

By mid-April, you will receive an email once all of the credits have been applied to your Student Center account.

6. When will the remaining funds on my Residence Meal Plan be applied to my Student Center account?

If you move out on or before 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020:
The deadline to submit your Residence Meal Plan food credit request via the myhousing Portal is March 31, 2020 so that this credit can be applied towards your Student Center along with the additional residence fee credit by mid-April. 

If you move out between March 23, 2020 - April 27, 2020:
The deadline to submit a request, via the myhousing Portal, to have your Residence Meal Plan food credit applied to your Student Center account is  April 24, 2020. You can expect that the remaining funds will be credited to your Student Center account by mid-June.

7. How do I sign up for a direct deposit in Student Center?

If you have a Canadian bank account, you can enroll in direct deposit in Student Center and the funds will be directly deposited to your bank account.  When you login to you Student Center account, under Finances, select “Enroll in Direct Deposit”.  For any other questions related to your Student Center account, please email

8. Can I receive a residence credit if I move out after March 22?

You will not receive a credit of Room Rate, RezNet and Meal Plan Overhead Fee, if you move out between March 23-April 27. If you still have any remaining balance of food credit (residence dollars and flex dollars), you may request these to be applied to your Student Center account in the myhousing portal.

If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact the Housing Office at .

9. Will my residence credit amount change if I move out earlier?

If you move out any time between March 13 to 22, you will receive the same residence credit, specific to your building style (traditional, hybrid or suite) and room type (single, double, bunked). 

10. What if I'm locked out of my room/building? Which front desks are open right now?

The front desks in Elgin and Ontario Halls remain open and operational 24/7, while the Essex Hall front desk is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. every day. All other front desks are closed. If you're locked out, you need to go to the closest open front desk to get replacement keys. Find the phone number of these front desks  here .

11. What will happen to mail deliveries for buildings with closed front desks?

All mail deliveries will be directed to Ontario Hall front desk up until April 27. Mail that has not been picked up by April 27, at 12:00 noon, will be returned to sender.

12. Can my friends pick up my mail for me?

If your parcel was delivered before you checked out, you may have someone else pick up for you by April 27 at 12:00 noon. We unfortunately are unable to accept mail for any students who are no longer living in residence. If you received an email from Housing that your mail was delivered, please email and provide the following:

  • The name of who will be picking up your mail.
  • A security question and answer that the person picking up your mail will need to answer.

You will also need to tell whoever is picking up your mail to bring a piece of ID.