Fall update: Planning continues for return to campus, vaccines will not be mandatory

Brock University continues to prepare for a significant return to on-campus instruction and activity this September as the rate of new COVID-19 cases both locally and across the province continues to decline and more people receive their first and second vaccine doses.

Brock’s Fall Term course calendar was released on May 25 with about two-thirds of all classes including some form of on-campus component. Other classes — particularly those with large numbers of international students enrolled — are complemented with online delivery to ensure those unable to come to campus can continue their studies.

“After consultation with the University community, including students, staff and faculty, Brock committed to being as open as possible this fall and to restoring the post-secondary experience students expect from us,” says Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “With careful planning in consultation with public health officials, I have confidence in the Brock community’s ability to navigate this next stage of the pandemic together.”

Brock has seen a significant increase in student applications this year and expects to welcome more than 4,000 new students this fall — a 6.5 per cent increase in high school applicant confirmations over last year.

In addition to the strong incoming class of secondary school students, applications from transfer students, international students and those pursuing school in non-traditional ways are also positive this year.

Brock has also seen strong demand for residence spots, which is expected to rise further in the coming weeks.

After consultation with colleagues in the sector and consideration of the legal implications, Brock will join other universities in not requiring vaccinations for students, staff and faculty members on campus in the fall. This decision was discussed with Niagara Region Public Health and conversations with public health will continue as September approaches.

Some student populations, such as those living in residence, may be asked to disclose their vaccination status.

“While Brock will not require vaccinations for those returning to campus or living in residence this fall, we do strongly encourage anyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so before arriving on campus in September,” says Wells. “A safe return to on-campus instruction and activity relies on a high rate of vaccination among all members of the community.”

Brock will work with regional authorities to facilitate vaccination for students in September in an effort to ensure those students who have not received their two doses of COVID-19 vaccine can do so once the Fall Term begins.

Information on how to get vaccinated now can be found here.

Brock University remains committed to the health and safety of all members of its community now and into the Fall Term. It’s expected that a range of health measures may still be in place in September including:

  • Non-medical masks may still be required indoors.
  • The University will continue to promote the importance of handwashing and hygiene protocols.
  • Enhanced cleaning will continue daily across campus.
  • Those coming onto campus will be asked to complete a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms and to stay home if they feel unwell.

Details and updates can be found at brocku.ca/fall