Welcome back! Find out about COVID-19, vaccinations, and returning to campus in Fall 2021. Learn more.

Welcome to Fall 2021!

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: August 31, 2021 11:00 a.m.

President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen
President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen Photo: courtesy of Memorial University

As we officially begin the Fall 2021 term at the University of Regina – proudly situated in Treaty 4 territory with a presence in Treaty 6 – I want to welcome everyone to our campuses and the Federated Colleges for the 2021-22 academic year. 

The Fall term is typically characterized by a buzz of activity as we welcome the new and returning students who bring our University to life and give purpose to our shared academic mission. With much of the in-person experience that we’ve missed over the past year available to our students and community, this fall will be closer to what we remember and have grown to expect. 

To the approximately 5,000 students who are taking in-person coursework this term – I hope you are as excited as I am about the prospect of being on campus. 

To those who are taking courses remotely for the term – your instructors are doing great work to make your courses enriching and engaging, and we are eager to see more of you on campus as additional in-person courses and activities take place during the Winter term that starts in January. 

And to the faculty and staff who have been returning to on-campus work over the past two months or so as we prepared for today’s start of term – thank you for everything you continue to do for our students. 

At an institutional level, we are doing all we can to keep everyone on our campuses safe during this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. As all of you know, that includes requiring members of the University community to be fully vaccinated by October 1. As I noted in my message to campus last week, vaccines are the safest and most effective defense against COVID-19 and, in particular, the growing spread of the Delta variant. That is why we are asking everyone in our community to do your part by getting fully vaccinated if you are able to do so. This is especially important as we transition through the Fall term to more normal operations in January. 

While we strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated for the safety of all, we do recognize that there are some who will not be vaccinated, either because of religious or medical exemptions per the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, or for other reasons. 

The choice not to be vaccinated is your right, and to those of you who cannot or will not be vaccinated, I want to emphasize that you will be able to access our campuses after the vaccine requirement officially begins on October 1. But it is important to note that for you, ongoing non-invasive rapid antigen testing will be required given your non-vaccinated status. This is to help safeguard your health as well as that of your peers and colleagues on campus, their family members, and others in the wider community. 

Even as we continue to deal with the pandemic, this fall we have many exciting things to celebrate as a University community. Our carefully managed re-opening includes athletics events, fitness facilities, enhanced access to our wonderful Dr. John Archer Library, and the return of other in-person campus services. Important initiatives are moving forward in areas such as teaching and learning, faculty and student research, and Reconciliation within our institution. 

And it is of particular note that an advisory committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Oppression is being formed to guide the University as it addresses issues such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, and religious discrimination. Further information about this advisory committee is forthcoming. 

Our goal is always to be the most welcoming, dynamic, and forward-thinking institution we can – and I truly believe that with all of us working together, the Fall term will embody that goal. 

In that spirit, welcome to the University of Regina for Fall 2021! 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jeff Keshen

President and Vice-Chancellor 

 

Related  

U of R welcomes new president

New President Dr. Jeff Keshen: Message to students