September 14, 2020
As the 2020-21 term begins, Innis College welcomes its new and returning students and extends best wishes to alumni and friends of the Innis community. We are extremely pleased to meet the incoming students and reconnect with upper-year students who have been away since the spring. Led by the stellar OCs, Al-Amin Ahamed and Breanna Lima Martinez, and Madi Frost (Assistant Dean, Student Life), Orientation 2020 was a great success, greeting our newest students with warmth and enthusiasm, and providing a host of inventive activities.
Since March we have been challenged by a pandemic and called to action by protests against anti-Black racism. At the College we have been working diligently throughout the summer to ensure that we offer everyone at Innis a safe and enriching student experience, informed and shaped by recent developments.
The start of classes, like much else at the University over the past six months, has been dramatically altered by COVID-19. Many Fall 2020 courses are online only, and the re-opening of the College and the University has entailed a partial resumption of in-person services, with many still offered online.
The College’s current operations follow provincial health guidelines, and procedures have been developed in response to the University’s re-entry plans, outlined in UTogether 2020: A Roadmap for the University of Toronto. In what follows, you will find information about how different areas of the College will be functioning this term. More detailed information can be found in COVID-19 Updates.
Classes and Study Areas: A limited number of courses offered by programs housed at Innis are providing in-person instruction, typically in conjunction with online instruction. Those students attending classes in person will see that the College building looks different than before, with hand sanitizer stations throughout, physical-distancing labels and signs visible everywhere, and restrictions on seating and service areas. Classrooms are defined by physical-distancing restrictions, with limited seating and exit and entry protocols.
Areas for studying and resting are available throughout the College, but physical-distancing restrictions have resulted in considerably reduced availability of those areas. For example, the Commuter Lounge is not open at this time. Similarly, not all washrooms at the College are open, because access to some washrooms is no longer safe.
Student Services: While the Registrar’s Office is physically closed, staff members are still helping students by phone, email, video-chat, and with online tips. Appointments can also be made for online support from the Writing Centre, the Learning Strategist, and the Accessibility Advisor.
Student Life: The Office of Student Life is offering a full slate of programming and opportunities for co-curricular engagement. While staff will generally be working offsite, there will be limited in-person activities.
Residence Life: The Innis Residence is open, with the front desk staffed 24/7. The residence is operating at approximately 45% capacity, with specific common areas re-opening.
Innis College Library: The Library will remain closed, but Kate Johnson, the Innis Librarian, is available to help with questions about access, research skills, and citations. Curbside pick-up of materials will be coming later in September, but please contact Kate with any questions in the interim. Printing services are not currently available. For more information, see innis.utoronto.ca/library
Innis Café: The Café has resumed operation with limited hours (M-F, 9-5).
Events: Currently, all public in-person events are on hold, but the College will continue to offer a robust slate of virtual events, from lectures to screenings.
(Photo of Charlie Keil by Chiao Sun, 2020)