UPDATED May 28, 2020

CoronavirusFor information about the University response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit 

For information about symptons, risks and health care related to COVID-19 visit the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website at



The COVID 19 pandemic emergency has required Student Housing Services to modify the University of Guelph Residence system to align with legislative amendments, controls, orders and by-laws from different levels of government and public bodies, requests of the public, and  requirements of the University.  The purpose of these modifications is to support the safety and health of students residing in densely populated settings such as university residences.  It is anticipated that it may be necessary to assign most students to single rooms throughout the residence system.  Students who wish to be considered for a double room can apply if the requesting students are siblings, relatives, or close friends who wish to live together and will be enrolled in the same academic programme of study. Room assignments will be made in the sole discretion of Student Housing. 

New applicants who have received an offer of admission and will be attending the University of Guelph for the first time this fall must submit a completed application and the required deposit of $750 to be considered for space in residence for the Fall 2020 semester.  Priority will be given to new applicants who will be enrolled as fulltime students.  Completed applications (application & deposit) must be submitted to Student Housing Services no later than 11:59 EDT on June 1, 2020.  Applications and deposits received after this date will be assigned Residence rooms as available or placed on a waiting list.


Frequently Asked Questions 

For New Applicants

For Current Summer Residents

For Family Housing Residents




Q:  Will I receive a full refund if I choose to withdraw my residence application once I know my course schedule for Fall?

A:  It is expected that course selection will be available on Web Advisor in mid July. Student Housing Services has amended its deposit refund policy to allow residence applicants to withdraw their application from residence and receive a full refund of their residence deposit up until July 15.


Q:   If there is a second wave of COVID-19 during the fall semester and residences are declared closed and we have to vacate, will we receive a refund of our residence fees and deposit?

A:  ​It is uncertain how long the pandemic and the related Governmental Response will continue.  If there is a resurgence of the virus during the fall semester, the University will continue to adhere by the requirements of Government and Public Health guidance to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.  If the Residence Contract is terminated early by Student Housing Services due to the coronavirus, fees will be refunded from the check-out time to the last day of classes as defined by the University's academic calendar on a pro-rata basis. 


Q:  If my preferred roommate is in a different academic program. Will we be allowed to live together in a residence that is not assigned by academic cohort?  If no, can I get a refund of my deposit?

A:  ​The COVID emergency has made it necessary for Student Housing Services to modify its assignment practices to allow for greater adherence to physical distancing within the residential and campus environments.  By creating academic cohorts we recognize that we are creating intentional communities where students will likely be engaging in common classes and academic related activities.  Support services are being planned for each cohort to enhance the academic and social experience of students while minimizing interactions among groups outside of the academic cohort.  Requests for shared accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will depend on public health recommendations. Students who choose to withdraw their residence application because SHS was not able to accommodate their request for a roommate are subject to forfeiture of their deposit as outlined in the Residence Contract.


Q:  I am not interested in living with my academic cohort.  I want to live with students in different programs to widen my perspective.  Will this be possible?

A:  ​Student Housing Services prides itself on its ability to offer a range of residence types and opportunities for living in residence.  Our current pandemic emergency necessitates that we take measures to minimize risks to the health and safety of our students.  As such we have determined that academic cohorting provides the greatest opportunity to support this goal.  Applicants to residence have the opportunity to apply to reside in one of our Living-Learning Centres, which are open to students in all programs.  To explore our Living-Learning options, go to  ​Students who have unique accommodation requirements may also fill out our Accommodations Request Form.


Q:  I have already applied and filled out my application for a double and triple room.  I do not have a specific roommate request.  Will I still have to pay the single room rate?  If yes, I cannot afford to live in residence and I would like to cancel.  Will I receive a full refund?

A:  Students assigned to a single room will be charged the single room rate.  All of our fees are based on the room type.  We encourage students facing financial difficulties to explore financial assistance options, including a payment plan, by reaching out to our Student Financial Services department at The deadline for cancelling your residence reservation for a full refund is July 15th.


Q:  Where will the academic cohorts be located? 

A:  The locations of each program area have not yet been determined.  We encourage you to complete your Residence Application with your residence building preferences.  After June 1, once we know how many on-time applicants are in each program and their location preferences, we will use this data to finalize the program locations. 


Q:  Can I defer my Fall 2020 residence offer to the winter 2021 semester?  Will I still be guaranteed a space?

A:   ​If you elect to remain at home for the fall semester you may request that your residence application be deferred to the winter semester.  Your residence deposit will be held.  You will be notified in late November if we will be able to make a residence assignment for you.


Q:   I have already applied for residence.  Is there a deadline by which I have to make my decision about whether I want to live in residence to receive a deposit refund?

A:  Yes.  You will need to make your decision by July 15 in order to receive a full refund of your residence deposit.


Q:   Should I still plan to move in to residence the week before classes start if there is no Orientation Week?  

A:   Yes. Orientation Week is a multi-faceted experience.  Many activities and programs are being planned that will allow for physical distancing to be in place.  Further details about your Gryphon Welcome experience will be sent to you later in the summer when you receive your residence assignment.


Q:   If I choose not to live in residence this year due to COVID-19, will I be guaranteed a space in residence in Fall 2021? 

A:  If you accept your offer of admission from the University this year and attend online classes in Fall 2020, your 1st year residence offer will not be carried over to the following year.  ​Although the residence experience is specifically targeted to entering year students, students beyond first year are eligible to apply and be considered for residence accommodation should space be available.


Q:  I cannot pay the residence deposit all up front due to financial pressure from COVID-19.  Will you be waiving the deposit?

A:  The Residence Deposit is a commitment that you are accepting your residence offer.  While we cannot waive the deposit, we can assist you by arranging a deposit payment plan.  Please contact to arrange a deposit payment schedule.  The first payment of $250 is due June 1 so we encourage you to the make the first payment to complete your application.


Q:  If you are assigning residence based on program, can I still get a room transfer if I don't like my assignment?

A:   Room transfers will still be permitted depending on the circumstances of each request, and the availability of space.  Academic cohorting will be maintained within each residence.  


Q:  With the conversion of single rooms, will you still be honouring the residence guarantee?

A:  At this time, we anticipate that we will be able to provide accommodation for all students who require residence.  Once the June 1 deadline has passed, we will confirm with all applicants.   See Section 20 of the Residence Contract for more information at


Q:  How will residence work if physical distancing is still advised?

A:  We are in consultation with our Public Health unit to ensure that we are in compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices to protect the safety of our students.  We know that reducing in-person interaction and use of common spaces (such as washrooms, group common spaces, etc.) is essential to prevent the spread of the virus.  


Q:  I am worried about sharing a room due to concerns with COVID-19 transmission.  Can you guarantee me a single room?   

A:  Yes. We are planning to reduce our capacity to assign single rooms to all incoming students, in consultation with our local Public Health unit. Requests from siblings and close friends who wish to share a double room will be considered on a case by case basis.


Q:  What if I have a specific roommate that I want to live with this fall?

A:  Most students will be assigned to single rooms but a limited number of shared double rooms may be available to those students who request a double room with a specific relative or friend.  Or, you can also request a suite-mate (if applicable) in our East Residence or East Village townhouses, if you both are registered in the same academic program.  After the Application/Deposit deadline (June 1) has passed, all eligible applicants will be invited to add a roommate preference to their application.  


Q:  How will residence buildings be assigned this year to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus?

A:  Most new first year students will be assigned to an Academic Cluster.  This means that the residence location will be based on your program of study.  Academic clusters will be located throughout the campus residences.  Living Learning Centres will also be available, for students who want to explore a specific interest area with other like-minded students.  Descriptions of Academic Clusters and Living Learning Centres can be found at:

Academic Clusters:

Living Learning Communities.

During the application process, you will also have an opportunity to let us know if you are interested in a quiet learning environment (Study-Intensive Themed Learning Community).


Q:  What are the advantages of academic cohorting vs. random lottery based assignments?

A:  Our primary goal has always been first and foremost your success and well-being.  Recent research on campus has shown us that students living in program-based clusters perform better academically than their peers in other housing locations.  This year, there is the added benefit of reducing in-person interactions within the campus environment to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  We will bring academic support resources to you, and the best way for us to do that is to assign residences based on academic program area.


Q:  If I really wanted to live in a specific residence, will you still be using these application preferences in the assignment process?

A:  The Residence Application will ask you for preferences about a lot of different things -- residence building, Living Learning Communities, as well as whether you require any medical accommodation in your housing assignment.  The location of clusters in traditional residences, apartment suites and townhouses has not yet been determined.  While your individual preferences may not be the primary focus of your assignment, the data that is gathered may affect where clusters are located. We will take your request into consideration but we can’t guarantee you will get the residence building you requested.


Q:  Will there be additional cleaning of common spaces in residences this fall?

A:  Yes, the cleaning schedule of shared spaces and surfaces (ie. doors, railings, etc.) will be enhanced in the fall to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Q:   What would happen if there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in a residence? 

A:  We have protocols in place that were developed in consultation with our Public Health unit.  Students can isolate in their rooms, meals can be delivered, and we can increase cleaning of washrooms in an affected area.

Q:  Will you require students to wear masks?

A:  We will follow the advice of our Public Health and campus health partners.  We encourage everyone to wear a mask throughout campus whenever possible, in classrooms and public spaces, our dining halls, and in our residences.


Q:  Will outside guests be allowed to come in residences?  Will they be screened?

A:  We will be following the advice of our Public Health unit on whether screening or masks will be required by outside guests.  At this time, we anticipate that guests will be permitted under certain conditions, provided that physical distancing is maintained.  This may change if circumstances warrant us to restrict access to residences. 


Q:  What will Orientation look like?  Will we still have events and activities in residence?

A:  Welcoming you to campus as a new Gryphon is very important to us!  It might look a bit different than our traditional O-week, but we will have virtual events and activities in residence, as well as programs that can be effectively delivered while maintaining 2 m physical distancing.  Our Residence Assistants (RAs) will still be working hard to develop a sense of community and supporting you in new and creative ways.  Gryphons are an innovative bunch, and we can't wait to see what new ideas will be implemented!     


Q:  Will I receive a refund of my deposit if residences don't re-open?

A:  Currently, as per the Residence Contract, the deadline to cancel the Residence Application and receive a $500 refund is July 15.  It is our hope that we will have a better sense of the Fall semester academic delivery model and our capacity to provide student housing on campus by this date.  If the University is unable to accommodate new students planning to move in for the Fall semester, students will have the option to hold their reservation over to the Winter semester or receive a full refund.  I am sorry that we cannot offer more definitive information at this time. We will update all applicants if the situation changes. 


Q:  Is the Student Housing office open?  

A:  Our Student Housing main office (Maritime Hall) and Family Housing office has transitioned to work-at-home operations. Contact us by email at or by telephone at 519-824-4120 ext. 58701 during office hours.  Our East Residence Desk is open 24 hours to serve students currently living on campus.



Q:  What should I do if I am showing symptoms of COVID-19 and I am living in summer residence? 

A:  If you have been granted an extension and  experiencing flu-like symptoms, please stay in your room and send an email to  Also, please self-isolate immediately and follow the advice of Public Health found at


Q: Are the dining halls open for meals during the summer months? 

A: No, all dining locations are closed.  Hospitality Services encourages all remaining students to use off-campus partners for meal delivery.  East Side Variety is open. For more information, see the Hospitiality Services website at


Q: Are the Residence Desks open? Are Residence Assistants still available? 

A:  East Residence Desk is open 24 hours per day.  Our Residence Managers are here on campus, and available by phone and email to assist students who are staying with us for the summer semester. 





Q: How can I connect with Student Housing Services?

A:  Members of the Student Housing Services team are connecting with Family Housing residents via email and by phone. To help plan resources and supports, they are collecting information about who is remaining on campus and who may be away temporarily.  Employees in the Student Housing Services office are working remotely. They can be reached by email and will respond during normal office hours, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Q: I am self-isolating due to COVID-19. What supports are available to me?

A: If you or someone in your unit is self-isolating, Student Housing Services can help arrange assistance. Email and a member of our team will contact you to discuss what supports we can provide.


Q: Can my kids still use the family housing playground?

A:  To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City of Guelph has ordered the closure of all playgrounds. In support of this action, the family housing children’s playground equipment is also closed.

The 2019 novel coronavirus can live on metal and plastic surfaces. We cannot properly sanitize this equipment for your safety and the safety of your family. DO NOT send children to play on this equipment.


Q: I’m feeling disconnected from my community. What can I do?

A:  Our community life staff is planning virtual programming to maintain our sense of community and to help during this time of uncertainty and physical distancing.

If you have any questions about the programing, would like to suggest an idea or program or want to contribute to the development of programs, please connect Barb Robbins at


Q: A fixture in my unit broke. How do I get it repaired?

A:  For the safety and security of our staff, we are only responding to emergency work orders at this time. Our trades and maintenance staff will wear protective equipment while in housing units.

If you are self-isolating due to travel or presumptive exposure, or you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must inform us when you submit a work order.

Email to submit your work order.


Q: Can I still access the laundry facilities?

A:  Student Housing Services is providing temporary free access to laundry facilities at 78 College Ave., excluding commercial-sized machines.

When using the laundry facilities, you must maintain two metres’ distance between yourself and others in this common space.

Laundry and other community space facilities are cleaned daily.


Q: I have concerns about my ability to pay rent. What should I do?

A:  If you have a concern with your ability to pay your rent, contact so we can work with you on a solution.


Q: How is the University maintaining security during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A:    U of G’s Campus Community Police are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you need non-emergency assistance from Campus Community Police, call 519-840-5000.  In an emergency, call 911.


If your question is not answered here, please send your question to