Photo: Nicola; provided by Wikimedia Commons

COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of the university experience, especially for first-year students who were planning on living in UBCO Student Housing for the 2020/2021 school year. However, UBCO has implemented plans to provide the best possible on-campus accommodation given these challenging circumstances.

Although most first-year classes will be held online, UBCO is still providing housing accommodation for qualifying students. In order to qualify, students must fill out a residence eligibility application online and be accepted prior to moving on campus.

International students that are eligible to travel into Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. UBCO has set up self-isolation accommodation packages, including meals, both on-campus and off-campus to help students with this process.

Once students have moved into their student residences, a set of new rules have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of students. These rules include self-monitoring for symptoms and knowing how and when to self-isolate properly.

The orientation program for new students at UBCO called Create was held online this year on September 8, 2020. This orientation gave new students the chance to meet fellow students, faculty members, and take a virtual tour of campus.

Food services are going to be open during the fall semester with some minor changes such as limited dine-in seating and no more reusable container program. Currently, Sunshine, The Comma, and Tim Hortons are the only food services open on campus. The good news is that meal cards are still being accepted at these locations.

UBCO is working closely with public health to determine when it is safe for students and faculty to return to campus, but for now, they are doing their best to accommodate first-year students and provide virtual orientations so that students do not completely miss out on the first-year UBCO experience.