On-Campus Vaccination Requirement Announced for the Fall Semester
In an open letter to the College community on July 27th, President Jerome made the announcement that, effective September 9th with the start of Fall semester classes, all who come to campus on a regular basis will be required to show proof of vaccination.
The new mandate impacts students, staff, and faculty.
Additional information will be announced in the days ahead for anyone seeking an exemption on medical or religious grounds, as well as how to provide their vaccination documentation.
Staff and faculty uncomfortable with the new requirement will be considered for flexible work schedules that enable them to work from home, provided their roles allow it and they can fully meet their job responsibilities doing so.
Similarly, students who prefer not to be vaccinated will be afforded ample opportunities for remote learning, either in virtual/synchronous classrooms or via the College’s asynchronous online platform that allows students greater control over the timing of their classes and their work/life/study responsibilities. Students with in-person, on-campus clinical requirements will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Until this week, the College had been “strongly encouraging” members of the College community to get the vaccination but had stopped short of requiring it, pending further review and analysis of pandemic data and local conditions.
The College had kept its COVID response protocols in place since the beginning of the pandemic out of an abundance of caution, even as New York State and the CDC began pulling back their own stringent measures. Masks remain required in all public areas on campus, as do social distancing requirements.
As President Jerome noted, “With the Delta variant now proving to be a challenge, I am certainly glad we did the right thing and have kept our guard up.”
The College did not come to the vaccination mandate decision lightly, as President Jerome explained in yesterday’s email:
“… I know that our new vaccine mandate will be met with relief by some and with worry by others. Please know we did not rush the decision. At the end of the day, we must do everything we can to protect the College community.”
He further noted: “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your family. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Get the facts. Talk to your doctor. Listen to the experts."