Dear U of G Students, Staff and Faculty,

The rise of the Omicron variant has us approaching the winter break differently than we thought we would just a few short weeks ago. I share in your frustrations and worries about this wave of the pandemic. The timing feels especially cruel as we have only recently been able to return to some of our more normal activities. As I know many of us are feeling frustrated and confused, I wanted to share a few things that are keeping me hopeful for the new year.

Scientists have developed vaccines, and they continue to work on new discoveries to protect us. U of G faculty, students and staff have adapted quickly to remote learning formats, helping to ensure the success of the past two academic years and enhancing our use of technology to teach, learn and research. We have also collectively learned how to stay connected with our peers, colleagues, friends, family and community partners using virtual platforms that many of us had barely heard of before March 2020. Public health experts have demonstrated outstanding leadership in navigating this crisis, and we have worked as a community to uphold their advice and recommendations.

President Charlotte Yates
Dr. Charlotte Yates

Now, we need to keep doing our part to safeguard our families, friends and communities. By getting our third dose of vaccine, masking, washing our hands and physical distancing, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19.

I find much hope in the fact at regardless of what we will face – now or in the new year – our sense of community will give U of G the resilience and nimbleness to act with both compassion and reason. The immediate future requires further flexibility and responsiveness, and the University will continue to share the latest information and guidelines for how we move forward safely. We will get through this together.

These last 20 months have been exhausting as we have been asked to dig deeper and pivot, again and again. I want to thank each of you for all that you do to make the U of G community what it is, and I thank you especially for the support you have provided your families, friends and communities through this crisis.

Please take time over the winter break to rest, relax and connect safely with loved ones. I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Warm regards,
Charlotte A.B. Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor