U of T vaccine mandate to return in fall, boosters required to live on campus

Keean Bexte

July 28, 2022

The University of Toronto (U of T) has announced it’s bringing back its vaccine mandate for students living on campus for the Fall semester and will require they all receive boosters.

U of T vaccine mandate is coming back, boosters required to live on campus
U of T vaccine mandate is coming back, boosters required to live on campus

As per a COVID-19 planning update released on July 28, “Recently, U of T reinstated the vaccination requirement for students and employees living in University residences. Students living in residences this fall will be required to have a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose before moving in.

While U of T hasn’t reinstated the vaccine mandate for visitors, faculty, and students not living on campus, they’ve warned unvaccinated students that the broader vaccine mandate could come back any time, which will result in de-enrolment.

“The University has paused the requirement for all members of our community to be fully vaccinated in order to come to campus. Please note that this requirement may be reinstated on short notice if public health conditions or guidance change,” reads the UTogether FAQ page.

“Indeed, although students and employees who are unvaccinated may enrol in classes with in-person components or attend University premises for work activities, vaccination requirements may be reinstated with little notice, which could result in de-enrolment or ineligibility to work.”

As previously reported by The Counter Signal, U of T “paused” their vaccine mandate on May 1 after getting hit with a human rights complaint from several faculty members.

In February, a group of faculty members sent a letter to the University president outlining their human rights complaint filed to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). 

“U of T [must] immediately revoke all suspensions and terminations of employment related to U of T’s vaccination mandate by instead providing the necessary accommodations required under the Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, c. H.19,” the complaint read.

“Despite [the evidence], U of T [has] continued with its draconian policy and, in fact, outlandishly and outrageously upped the ante by terrorizing its faculty and staff that there would be broad suspensions at the start of 2022.”

The University doubled down on March 4, stating that the policy would remain in place until the end of the academic term, which meant they were keeping the mandate until at least the summer and possibly bringing it back for the Fall term.

The group kept the pressure on, though. They issued a press release on March 21 that indicated the HRTO had received their complaint. The University of Guelph dropped its mandate the next day

The complaint appeared to have worked, as the University of Toronto president reversed his decision one week later, on March 28.

Now, it looks like the mandates are coming back, as many expected, despite the growing irrelevance of COVID in people’s lives. How students and faculty react this time is still to be seen.

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