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Please click on the 'General FAQ' on the left navigation to view the full list of Frequently-Asked Questions.

Academic Year 2020-21

The following information is for students who lived in residence for the 2020-21 academic year.

Health and Safety

Updated as of August 11, 2020

Accordion Info

1. 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. We will de-densify some of our residence buildings to support physical distancing (please refer to the Room Placement section in this FAQ page). Signs have been placed at common area entrances to indicate capacity limits. Wall and floor decals show designated waiting areas and direct the flow of traffic. Posters and digital display boards will remind people to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings as well as other health and safety best practices.

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.

When caretakers are cleaning the in-suite washroom or kitchenette, or tradespersons are conducting maintenance, 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.

2. How will the shared communal washrooms be cleaned? Will in-suite cleaning be provided for the shared washrooms, and kitchenettes in hybrid- and suite-style residences?

In traditional-style residences, shared communal washrooms will see enhanced and more frequent sanitization from our caretaking staff, seven days a week. In hybrid- and suite-style residences, which support more independent and private environments, in-suite washrooms and kitchenettes will be cleaned bi-weekly. For the health and safety of our community, caretakers will not enter or provide cleaning of student bedrooms.

We understand that some students may not wish to have a caretaker enter their suite to provide washroom/kitchenette cleaning for personal reasons. If they choose so, students will be able to opt out of in-suite washroom/kitchenette cleaning by logging into myHousing portal. We will endeavour to place you with other students who have also opted out of cleaning. This will only be applicable if you are assigned to a hybrid or suite-style residence.

Cleaning products will also be available for students to sanitize and augment cleaning of the washroom and share area before and after use.

3. If someone in residence is symptomatic or gets positive for COVID, where will they be isolated?

Western follows the guidance of Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) who leads on these incidents to develop strategies to prioritize the health and safety of our students and the entire Western community, and minimize risks associated with COVID-19.

We've established a protocol and secured a location in the event we're advised by the MLHU to isolate a sick community member outside of residence. If a community member gets sick, we take the direction from the MLHU and our colleagues at Student Health Services.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Are we required to use personal protective equipment while in residence?

Western requires the use of non-medical masks/face coverings in the presence of others and in common and shared spaces on campus. These act as a personal hygiene measure to protect others from potential infectious droplets.

Students in residence will be required to wear non-medical masks/face coverings in residence outside of their bedrooms/apartments, while in hallways, elevators, common areas, and shared spaces. This includes floor lounges, study rooms, and the dining hall.

Upon arrival, each student will receive a residence care package. This will include two washable face coverings, hand sanitizer and instructions on how to use these items. Students are encouraged to pack and bring their own face coverings as well. In addition, each washroom will be provided with a cleaning kit, including instructions on how to maintain cleanliness standards in washroom spaces.

Room Placement

Updated as of July 8, 2020

Accordion Info

1. Which residence buildings will be de-densified? Will suite-style buildings stay the same capacity?

We plan to de-densify some of our residence buildings to support physical distancing.

Traditional-Style Residences

Students assigned to traditional-style residences (Saugeen-Maitland, Medway-Sydenham and Delaware Halls) will be provided their own bedroom. This means that rooms that were designed for double occupancy will only have one student living in the room. Students assigned to traditional-style residences who had requested roommates will live in adjacent rooms.

Hybrid-Style Residences

Students assigned to hybrid-style residences (Ontario Hall and Perth Hall) will see a combination of double rooms being used for single- and double-occupancy. Home to our largest bedrooms on campus, each room designed for double occupancy is 255 square feet in size, and can support physical distancing for two roommates. We will only place two students together in a double room if they have requested each other as roommates. We will not be placing two students who are unknown to each other together in a double room. For requested roommates who are assigned into a double room, we ask that the pair of roommates include each other into their 'social circles' for at least two weeks prior to arriving in September.

Suite-Style Residences

Students assigned to suite-style residences (Elgin Hall and Essex Hall) will be provided their own room, as these buildings are already made up of entirely single bedrooms. A total of four students will live in a self-contained apartment, with two washrooms, one kitchenette, and living room. Students assigned to suite-style residences who had requested roommates will live in adjacent bedrooms.

As previously indicated, de-densifying our residences lowers our overall capacity, and we are currently exploring additional housing options to accommodate first-year students. Our priority is to keep first-year students on campus in University-owned buildings. Residence rates for rooms with adjusted occupancy usage will be finalized and communicated in the next few weeks.

2. With the de-densification changes, will residence fees be adjusted?

For 2020-21 school year, we are de-densifying some of our residences to support physical distancing. Traditional residence rooms that were designed for double occupancy will only have one student living in the room. Hybrid residences will see a combination of double rooms being used for single- and double-occupancy. Double rooms in hybrid residences used for double-occupancy will only house roommates who requested to live together. Our suite-style residence occupancy will remain the same, as each student already receives their own single bedroom.

Residence rates have been revised to reflect these de-densification changes:

Residence Room Type Room Rates (Per Occupant) Mandatory Meal Plan (Overhead and Food Credit) Total Cost
TRADITIONAL-STYLE Delaware Hall Medway-Sydenham Hall Saugeen-Maitland Hall Double Room (single occupancy) $7,740* $5,950* $13,690
Single Room (single occupancy) $7,500 $5,950* $13,450
HYBRID- STYLE Ontario Hall Perth Hall Double Room (double occupancy) $9,220* $5,950* $15,170
Double Room (single occupancy) $10,010 $5,950* $15,960
Single Room (single occupancy) $9,615 $5,950* $15,565
SUITE - STYLE Elgin Hall, Essex Hall Single Room (single occupancy) $10,400* $5,950* $16,350
Alumni House Single Room (single occupancy) $8,260* $5,950* $14,210
London Hall Single Room (single occupancy) $9,820* $5,950* $15,770

*indicates no change compared to pre-pandemic rates.

In traditional-style residences, residence rates for double rooms will remain the same, even though these rooms will be used for single-occupants. Residence rooms originally built for single-occupancy are discounted to reflect the smaller square footage when compared to double rooms being used for single-occupants.

In hybrid-style residences, double rooms with double occupancy will see no change to room rates. Double rooms with single occupancy will be charged the pre-pandemic single-room rate. Residence rooms built for single-occupancy have been discounted to reflect the smaller square footage when compared to double rooms being used for single-occupancy.

In suite-style residences, room rates remain the same, as there has been no change to bedroom usage in these buildings.

3. As a first-year student, if I choose to live in London Hall or Alumni House, will I still get the same residence experience as living in any other first-year building? What about Orientation Week and Residents' Council?

Western is committed to providing each resident a truly unique and rewarding residential experience. Like any typical residence floor, we will provide live-in Residence Dons and Orientation Leaders (Sophs) and all of the typical programs and events usually offered within the residence community. During September, we will provide 24-hour front desk staff within the building. After that, you can access 24-hour front desk coverage in person or via phone at a nearby building (i.e. Essex Hall for London Hall residents, and Medway-Sydenham Hall for Alumni House residents).

We are very confident that with our staff, facilities, programming, and activities, we can provide an environment that is supportive, caring, and offers an excellent residence life experience during the important transition to campus life. Living in London Hall or Alumni House you will be part of the Western community in every way.

There is already an active Residents' Council in each of these buildings who will be working collaboratively to provide you with a positive residence experience in your new home at Western. Your Sophs and Residence Staff will connect with you and encourage you to get involved with your new community.

You will be able to participate in full Orientation Week events and activities which are designed to smooth your transition to university and residence life, as well as to welcome you to the Western community. Sophs will be on deck to help you meet others and get to know your new campus home.

4. Can I request a roommate? If residence ends up being single rooms instead of doubles, will my requested roommate be placed on the same floor as me?

You will be placed with your requested roommate provided that:

  • You both receive residence offers, submit your Residence prepayment ($900) and complete your Residence Placement Questionnaires before the deadline.
  • You both join the same roommate group in the myHousing portal.
  • You both rank your preferences identically. Please note: You and your requested roommate must be in the same faculty/program in order to be placed together on a faculty-based Living-Learning Community floor.

If you and your roommate are assigned to a residence where we are converting double rooms to single rooms for physical distancing purposes, you will both be placed in adjacent bedrooms.

Please note that we no longer accept roommate requests or roommate changes.