COVID-19 information

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2020–21 school year

Residences will be open in September. We are committed to building healthy, positive communities in residence while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and students.

Following provincial health and safety guidelines, we have limited the number of beds available and established cleaning and physical distancing protocols. With the majority of first- and second-year classes being offered online, there are fewer first-year students living in residence this fall. We have opened up additional spaces for graduate and undergraduate students, as our inventory allowed. 

BC health authorities expect many of the COVID-19 health and safety requirements to remain in place for at least one year. We do not anticipate that that availability of on-campus housing will increase during the Winter session.

Unit type changes

In an effort to prioritize health and safety in our residences we are not offering double rooms this year. We also reduced the number of occupants in cluster units from four to two.

In order to facilitate social distancing requirements we considered roommate requests for cluster housing only. 

We offered a limited number of a new room type this fall. A ‘super single’ as an alternative to a standard dorm single.  We transformed double rooms by removing one of the beds which increases the living space for one person. 

First-year priority

This year we temporarily replaced UVic’s first-year guarantee with a first-year priority lottery. First-year students who applied to live in residence by June 30 were given a number by lottery to determine the order in which their rooms were assigned. 

Significantly fewer first-year students are living in residence this fall, in part due to health and safety factors and travel restrictions.

Application & lottery process

Applications for housing were accepted until June 30.

Rooms were assigned by lottery in early July. First-year students, upper-year undergraduate students, and graduate students were entered in separate lotteries.

We assigned first year students first, and then placed students from the graduate and undergraduate lists at the same time.

Dates & deadlines

The deadline to apply for housing was June 30.

This application deadline applies to all students interested in living on campus in Fall 2020. Applicants were given a number by lottery to determine the order in which their rooms were assigned. 

The deadline to cancel your application and receive a refund was June 12.

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Options for applicants

The online delivery of classes impacted housing plans for some students. Applicants were given the following choices:

1. Cancel your application to live on campus

By cancelling your application you will no longer be considered for on-campus housing for the Fall term. Should you want to be considered for housing for a future term, you must submit another housing application.

If you cancelled your application before the end of June 12, 2020, you were refunded $50. Students who choose to cancel their application after June 12 were not refunded the application fee. Application fee refunds may take up to eight weeks.

2. Take no action

If you applied to live on-campus this fall and wish to remain in the lottery, you do not need to do anything.

3. Defer your attendance to UVic

First-year students who have decided not to attend UVic this fall due to COVID-19 or other reasons may defer their attendance at UVic, which will automatically defer the first-year housing guarantee to fall 2021. We are unable to defer first-year housing guarantees if you do not defer your official university admittance.

January 2021

If you decide you don’t want to live in residence in September, but think you may want to in January 2021, you need to submit a new application for the spring term (the January to April term). Applications for the Winter Session (Fall 2020 – Spring 2021) will not be considered as an active application for only the spring term.

The Spring 2021 residence application will open in October and will be available in the housing portal. Room assignments for the spring will be based on availability.  We will not be able to guarantee residence placements for January arrivals, however First Year students will be prioritized in the room assignment process.

Health & safety

This year we are focussing on building healthy communities. We will do everything we can to prioritize the health and safety of our staff, residents and the community. You will be part of a community that is expected to respect safety for all, and we’re here to support you.  In residence our guidelines may include:

  1. social distancing
  2. wearing masks in common areas
  3. meeting face to face in small groups

We anticipate restrictions on guests and visitors in residence buildings, physical distancing guidelines in the Dining Hall, and careful use of shared spaces. We have made some updates to our Community Standards to ensure residents are respectful of provincial health orders. Our housekeeping teams will continue with increased cleaning and disinfection and physical distancing guidelines will be in effect at our Front Desk.

If you plan to live in residence, we will send you more information on health and safety in residence in the next few weeks.

Our community

We know that living in residence is an important part of your university experience—you will meet new friends and have opportunities to share ideas and education. Our staff of Community Leaders will to offer opportunities for residents to connect, make friends and meet their neighbours, or explore Victoria in small groups throughout the year. By re-imagining program offerings using various online platforms, as well as meeting safely in person, we are working on developing fun and novel ways to deliver programs. As always, our staff will continue to provide one-on-one support and referrals to residents, and will be upholding community standards.

Moreover, across campus a mentorship program will be launched which will allow students to connect virtually with others in their faculties, both for students living on and off campus.

Living Learning Communities

To maintain the integrity of our programs we have made the decision to pause the Living Learning Community program for the 2020-2021 academic year. This includes faculty-based and interest-based communities. The quality of our programs is important to us and we are unable to ensure that we can achieve the high quality learning and social experience that students and campus partners expect from our LLCs under the current circumstances brought on by COVID-19.

Specific quiet and substance-free communities will still be offered, supported by Community Leaders. Graduate specific housing will still be offered in South Tower.

International students

As of March 17, 2020, it is mandatory that anyone arriving in British Columbia from outside Canada must self-isolate, monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 for 14-days upon their arrival, complete and register a self-isolation plan and complete the federal ArriveCAN application. The health of travellers will be assessed upon arrival at the port of entry and you will be required to provide your detailed self-isolation plan either prior to or upon arrival.

International students who accept a room offer for fall 2020 are required to plan for 14-day self-isolation period off-campus. Due to Public Health restrictions, we are not able to offer self-isolation accommodation in our residence buildings to students arriving from out-of-country. 

For further information support for International Students, please check International Student Services' website. They will be providing details how to plan for your arrival in Canada, including a list of options for locations where you could self-isolate.


Still have questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about on-campus student housing, please contact

If you have concerns about your health, please call 811 to speak to a health care provider to receive advice or further referrals. Stay up to date with information about the university’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and a list of resources for students.

We understand you have questions about the fall session. UVic is actively planning for the upcoming academic year with your health and safety as our highest priority. Read the latest update on the Fall term or see our plans for course delivery and tuition. We will provide more details as soon as they are available.