Ontario university will not allow unvaccinated students to take online courses this fall

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TORONTO – An Ontario university has said it will not allow students to participate in e-learning courses this fall if they have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the latest report from Wilfrid Laurier University COVID-19 vaccination policy, students are required to disclose their immunization status by October 8. Those who refuse to do so, as well as students who do not receive the two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, could face the following consequences:

• Not being able to go to Laurier campuses or places

• Access to MyLearningSpace is suspended for fall semester courses

• Unsubscribe from fall courses in person

• Not being able to participate in winter semester classes, since all students should be on campus for the winter 2022 semester.

Students who do not plan to get the vaccine should contact their academic advisers, according to the university.

Laurier added that he uses the fall semester as a “transitional term” and that students taking online courses at that time will still need to be fully immunized before in-person learning returns in the winter.

There is an exception for students enrolled in fully online study programs, who are not required to attend campus at any time, and who do not plan to visit campus for any other reason. These students do not have to upload their immunization status.

When asked for a statement, a spokesperson said the university was following the direction of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health in creating a vaccination policy for the facility.

No further explanation was provided as to why distance learning students should be fully immunized.

“In consultation with public health experts, we believe vaccines are essential to the health of our university community,” Julie Kalbfleisch, acting director of communications and issue management, said in a statement. “In addition to vaccines, other public health and university health and safety measures such as masking and respecting collection limits will go a long way in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will allow us to move forward. ‘before as a community. “

The University of Toronto, Ontario’s largest post-secondary institution with three separate campuses in the GTA, simply asks students attending the campus in person be fully vaccinated. There is no mention that online courses are affected by the policy.

York University, which has the second largest student body in the province, has a similar policy. After October 19, anyone who is not fully vaccinated with two doses will no longer be allowed on campus. These students are encouraged to get the vaccine or look for alternatives online.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Colleges and Universities said that although their government has ordered high-risk settings to implement COVID-129 vaccination policies, colleges and universities are “fully autonomous legal entities. responsible for academic and administrative matters ”.

“They are responsible for their own compliance and implementation of public health measures.”

A letter sent by the Ontario Council of Medical Advisers to university presidents on August 24, outlines the requirements that must be met in a vaccination policy. He calls for the full vaccination of everyone on campus, with the “rare exception of people who cannot be vaccinated due to permitted exemptions.”

People with an exemption or a first dose – who are waiting for a second – should sign up for the rapid test.

There is no mention of mandatory vaccinations for those who do not walk on campus.

A petition was launched Thursday calling on the university to reverse its mandatory vaccination policy, arguing that the institution has taken students’ right to choose their education.

“They made the announcement less than two weeks before requiring that online students be vaccinated, and just after the deadline to recover the majority of tuition fees for the semester,” the petition says. “They offer no alternative to the vaccine.”

The petition has just over 200 signatures.


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