President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri yesterday afternoon issued this message to the community:
Following a fire that caused a major disruption to our Keele campus on Monday, I am pleased to report that general University operations are returning to normal.
Although student exams that were scheduled for today [Tuesday] will be rescheduled, the normal exam schedule will be in effect beginning Wednesday morning. Vice-President Students Robert Tiffin and his staff will be communicating with each affected student regarding the rescheduling of the exams that were to have been written last night and today.
These types of situations are always difficult; however, the timing of this incident was particularly unfortunate for all students as it occurred just as you were beginning to write your fall term examinations.
I want to thank each and every student for your patience and understanding as you work with your professors to manage the task of successfully writing and completing your examinations. My thoughts are with you as you focus on the task at hand during this most important time in your academic year.
On Monday evening, a large-scale effort to relocate those of you who live on campus was organized and executed under trying circumstances. I want to thank our entire York staff along with all those who assisted us from the City of Toronto, Ontario Emergency Management, the Canadian Red Cross, Tennis Canada and the Toronto Police Service. All performed beyond expectation with the best interest of you – the students – first and foremost in their minds. We are grateful to our community partners who enhanced our ability to respond in this situation.
Students who live on campus are now able to return to their residences as normal heating was fully restored this morning. Students who we were able to accommodate in nearby hotels last evening have now been returned to campus via shuttle buses.
I also want to commend those involved directly in managing this emergency, from our Central Utilities Building and facilities teams to our emergency management operations team. This group utilizes leadership and expertise from all corners of the University, including the Registrar’s Office, which has been particularly focused on promptly rescheduling academic exams as efficiently as possible. Everyone did an outstanding job. Such events both test and prove our ability to come together as a community and respond to unexpected emergencies.
The fire effectively disabled our campus boiler system that provides a safe and warm environment in all of our buildings. While there was a great deal of interruption to normal operations, there were no injuries to any individuals.
Normal university operations resume on all fronts on Wednesday.
I want to wish all students well with their exams and hope that all York community members enjoy a happy and safe holiday season