Dear U of T Scarborough students,
Welcome to the new term and to the start of the 2021-2022 academic year! Whether this is your first week at university or you are a returning student, we are delighted to have you as part of the UT Scarborough community. As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, we will be here to support you and to ensure that your experience this year is both academically and personally rewarding.
We are very excited to be able to see some of you on campus this year. Our staged approach to returning to a fully in-person experience means that some of our interactions will continue to be online this term. In all cases, our commitment to you and to your academic experience is as strong as ever. Faculty and staff have been working with great dedication and creativity to prepare for the Fall term and to ensure that you have the resources you need to thrive. Our first priority is your health and well-being in the context of another extraordinary year.
Departmental staff and faculty are crucial resources for you. Be sure to take advantage of office hours, whether online or in person, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor or to your department if you have any questions. If you are experiencing any technical issues during your online courses, you should contact the Student Helpdesk at IITS.
The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers a wide range of academic supports for students, including writing help and English language development, math and stats tutoring, as well as peer tutoring through Facilitated Study Groups (FSGs) and broader learning resources. Find out more at https://uoft.me/AcademicLearningSupport . If you require additional support as a result of a disability, we encourage you to contact AccessAbility Services so that appropriate accommodations can be put in place. Whether you are in your first year of university or preparing to graduate, the Academic Advising & Career Centreis also available to support you.
If you have questions about processes related to financial aid, academic petitions, or time zone conflicts for exams, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office. General resources and a FAQ for students related to COVID-19, including updates about study space and campus access, can be found at UTogether Students. All students must be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes and on-campus activities. Students must also complete the online UCheck health self-declaration form each time you come to campus. If you are unwell it is very important that you not come to campus. A self-declaration form for any health-related absence from your academic activities is available via ACORN.
University can be a stressful time, and that stress is magnified by the ongoing pandemic pressures that our community is facing collectively and individually. If you are in need of personal support, the Health and Wellness Centre offers access to confidential counselling through the MySSP App. Academic departments also have embedded counsellors who are to meet with students. Do not hesitate to reach out.
Finally, I want to emphasize the University of Toronto Scarborough's commitment to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. The pandemic has further illuminated the critical need for engaging meaningfully with these areas. As we emerge out of the COVID-19 context, it will be important to carry the learnings of this time with us. As one example of this work, a campus-wide curriculum review was launched last year, focusing in particular on Indigenous ways of knowing, Black knowledges, racialized perspectives, and international and intercultural experiences. The working circle that is leading this process will be continuing its work this Fall, and we are eager to hear from students about your experiences and your hopes as we finalize recommendations for the campus. Please watch for opportunities to engage with this process. You may also submit your comments and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
This is my fourteenth September at U of T Scarborough, and it is a truly inspiring place to be. Although we are still transitioning out of the pandemic and not yet able to gather fully in person, we hope that your experiences this term enable you to forge new paths, build life-long connections and friendships, and engage in transformative learning that will shape your contribution to our world and our historical moment. Know that we are here to support you and to ensure that your experience at UT Scarborough is both academically and personally rewarding.
We wish you all the best for the year ahead.
Professor Katherine R. Larson
Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs
Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean