An open letter from Mayor Guthrie, University of Guelph President, and Medical Officer of Health

Dear University of Guelph Students:

In recent weeks, we have seen a worrying trend of large, unsafe gatherings on university campuses, including at the University of Guelph. These gatherings put our health and safety at risk.

We are still in the middle of a pandemic, and people are still getting sick and dying. You can do your part in protecting yourself and preventing infection from spreading to others.

Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from the most serious outcomes of COVID-19 and its many variants. However, no vaccine is 100-per-cent effective. Without taking other precautions, you can still become infected and infect others who may be more vulnerable to serious illness.

Avoid large gatherings, especially if you don’t know who is vaccinated and who is not. Drinking, eating, shouting and singing in crowded spaces all increase the odds of transmission. Reconsider your party plans. Socialize in small groups and with people you know. Stay home if you are unwell. Continue to wash your hands often, physically distance and wear masks even outside if you cannot keep two metres from others who may be unvaccinated.

Holding parties with numbers over the provincial COVID-19 limits may lead to fines of up to $10,000 for hosts and $880 for attendees — over and above tickets of $365 to $615 for noise and nuisance behaviour. U of G’s Policy on Non-Academic Misconduct applies to behaviour on and off campus, and contravention can result in fines, non-academic probation and suspension, and eviction from residence.

Do not put yourself, or the in-person school year we want to offer you, at risk. We have all done so well in the past 18 months to slow the spread of COVID-19. Let’s continue being vigilant so we can fully reopen our campus and community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Charlotte A.B. Yates, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Cam Guthrie, Mayor, City of Guelph

Students should report dangerous, suspicious or inappropriate behavior or activity to the Campus Safety Office or Guelph Police. Download the SafeGryphon App that provides numerous safety features. Students who are feeling unwell should visit Student Health Services.

Key contacts:

  • Campus Safety Office: 519 840-5000, Ext. 2000
  • Emergency services: 911
  • Women in Crisis phone line support: 1-800-265-7233
  • Guelph General Hospital support centre: 519 822-5350, Ext. 2728
  • City of Guelph Bylaw and Guelph Police Service:
  • Noise, nuisance parties, illegal parking and property issues: 519 837-2529