CSA Statement on the COVID-19 East Residence Outbreak

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2021

To the University of Guelph campus community and City of Guelph residents:

During the past week the CSA was disappointed to learn that there has been an outbreak of COVID-19 in the University of Guelph’s East Residence complex as a result of unsanctioned social gatherings in townhouses that were held between January 14th and January 16th. Since being made aware of this outbreak, the CSA has been in constant contact with the University of Guelph regarding the measures that have since been taken to ensure the safety of undergraduate students and all other individuals on campus.

It is important to recognize the significance of this outbreak: it was caused by a disregard for the health and safety protocols from the University of Guelph, the Province of Ontario, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Such actions fall far short of the CSA’s expectations for its members. While it is important to note those involved with the events that have been recognized as the source of the outbreak represent a small minority of students on campus, it has unfortunately shown that the actions of a few individuals can impact the lives of our entire community. The number of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 has quickly risen from a handful to over 50 cases, with many more in isolation.

The scale of the outbreak and the speed at which it has grown is cause for significant alarm. The impact that these circumstances have on our campus community including students, TAs, staff, faculty, and the families of those groups cannot be understated. The behaviour of those involved has put everyone at risk and could potentially further complicate our already difficult return to face-to-face learning at the University of Guelph and normalcy in the City of Guelph.

At our January 27th Board of Directors meeting, the CSA passed a motion that makes clear our disapproval of the unsanctioned social gatherings and the CSA’s stance on the COVID-19 outbreak. Going forward, the CSA commits to working collectively with the university community to implement additional proactive measures that will limit future COVID-19 outbreaks so that a safe return to campus, a necessity for students’ academic, physical, and mental wellbeing, will occur in the future. Additionally, we will continue to provide opportunities for online social interaction for our members while carrying on with our work and advocacy on behalf of all undergraduate students at the University of Guelph.

Yours truly,

Tyler Poirier
CSA President 2020 - 2021