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U-Pass suspended for spring/summer term, Sports Services and University Centre fees waived

Students taking classes at the University of Ottawa during the upcoming online spring/summer semesters will be met with a number of changes to fees and services due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the administration announced on Monday following consultations with undergraduate and graduate student unions. 

The U-Pass has been suspended for the spring/summer semesters, while fees for both Sports Services and the University Centre are waived since both facilities are closed indefinitely. 

The U-Pass, which gives full-time students unlimited access to public transit provided by OC Transpo and the STO, typically comes with a fee of $212.71 for both undergraduates and graduates for the spring/summer semesters. 

For undergraduates, full-time students would typically pay fees of $117.06 and $15.36 to fund Sports Services and the University Centre respectively, while part-time students would pay about half of that. At the graduate level, full-time students would usually pay fees of $70.53 and $10.16 to fund Sports Services and the University Centre respectively, while part-time students would pay about half of that.

The administration says that since many services offered by the University of Ottawa Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association are being maintained, fees will continue to be collected.  

Fees put toward Health Services will continue to be collected as well, along with some faculty-specific fees, such as the Telfer Career Service and funding for recognized student governments. The COVID-19 pandemic has also pushed back tuition payment deadlines and thesis evaluations for the spring/summer semesters. 

In line with the city’s public health directives, all U of O events are cancelled and all sports facilities will remain closed until June 30. The administration says event organizers will be contacted about refunds. 

The U of O says it will unveil plans for “re-imagined” spring convocation ceremonies soon. All in-person spring convocation ceremonies — set to run from June 7-10 — were cancelled in late March due to COVID-19. 

The first two weeks of Gee-Gees camps have been cancelled, and a decision on continuing these camps for July and August will be revisited in early June, according to the administration. The administration says those registered in Gee-Gees camps will be contacted for refunds.

The U of O “is developing scenarios to be ready to return to normal or near-normal operations on campus as soon as circumstances permit,” the administration wrote in an online update. “Again, we do not know how long the crisis will last but the university must be ready to resume when public health directives allow.”

As of Monday, there were 857 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 25 deaths. 

Across the province, there have been 584 deaths from COVID-19 and at least 11,184 confirmed cases of the virus as of Monday, with 5,515 cases labelled as resolved.

There have been at least 36,823 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,690 deaths across Canada

Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 2.4 million people and killed over 170,000 people since emerging in China in December 2019. There have been over 646,000 recoveries from the virus.