A Message from the President about COVID-19

John Ciriello, President

Message from the President,

I want to express my thanks and deep appreciation to all of our members for the resilience and teamwork you have demonstrated during these past few weeks under extraordinary circumstances. As we move forward, I am grateful for your understanding and patience as we make decisions for the good of all of the Western community.

At UWOFA, we prioritize safety above all else. That is why we are continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are in frequent contact with the university and our Board and when necessary, our members.

We recognize that these are unsettling times, and as we all spend more in the safety of our homes we want you to know that UWOFA is taking steps to flatten the infection curve by having our staff work remotely from home. This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of our members and staff and it was made in accordance with the advice of Public Health officials and the decision by Western administration to implement social distancing procedures. UWOFA remains open for business during this time to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can continue to contact our team via email and as updates come in we will keep you informed through email and via our social media accounts.

This global health challenge will not end overnight. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to those that have been directly affected by this health emergency. As we move through this difficult time, we hope to find some new ways to maintain our sense of community and connection. UWOFA is investigating a teleconference for this year’s annual general meeting of members that is scheduled for March 31st. All materials will be available on our website and we will notify our members as the details are confirmed.

I have been in frequent contact with Alan Shepard and his team and applaud their proactive measures to protect faculty, staff and students during this significant disruption to the term. If you have any concerns about your workload and transitioning to online learning, your first point of contact should be your Chair/Director/Dean.

When dealing with students, take the opportunity to talk with them; some are away from home and their support systems and may just need someone to listen.

Stay safe and wash your hands frequently.

John Ciriello