Public access to all buildings at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus has officially been terminated and all doors have been locked by campus police.
This decision came into effect on March 17 at 11:59 p.m. as detailed in emails sent out by the Office of the Registrar and Robert Messacar, the director of Campus Police Services.
“We will not be granting access to individual labs or offices as the expectation is that persons who are authorized to enter these areas already have the means of doing so,” stated Messacar in his school-wide email.
There are few exceptions granted for students living in campus residences and those who do not have access to a computer at home.
“Residence students who cannot return home due to travel restrictions or other obligations can request to remain in residences and will be able to access Colman Commons Dining Hall [at Oscar Peterson Hall (OPH)],” stated Messacar.
UTM has stated that it will maintain its support for residence students who are currently unable to travel home and is actively searching for ways to continue this support for those who can’t return even after the end of the winter term.
The ground floor of the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre and the UTM library will be available for student use for restricted hours as long as they are able to provide their T-Card at the entrance. All digital and accessibility services will continue to be available at the library as well for students who need to access the university’s academic resources to complete their courses.
According to the University of Toronto’s response regarding COVID-19, updated online on March 18 at 8:30 a.m., the university has decided to shut down all lab-based research operations under the suggestion of government officials.
The lab-based research operations will “shut down no later than 5 p.m., Friday March 20, 2020,” stated U of T’s response.
“We will consider exceptions for critical COVID-19 research and time-sensitive critical projects that are approved by the Incidental Management Team based on the University’s protocol for the approval of critical or time-sensitive research,” continued U of T’s response.
The Office of the Registrar has also terminated their in-person services; however, they continue to offer assistance online and on-call.
The My Student Support Program (MySSP), a multilingual call and text service that provides U of T students with immediate confidential support, will continue to function 24/7 for anyone who might be feeling distressed.
“Regardless of whether you are currently social distancing, are in self-isolation for a short period of time, or are returning home, we remain connected as one community,” stated the registrar in their school-wide email.
“Our shared commitment to human rights, diversity, inclusion, and respect are values that we carry with us and can put into practice regardless of our current location.”