Message to the Campus Community: Vaccine Mandates
May 19, 2021 BK LI
With the recent news of vaccine mandates at colleges and universities in our region, I wanted to take a moment to address the ongoing questions and concerns of the SJC community on this issue. First and foremost, St. Joseph’s College strongly recommends that all members of our campus communities — students, faculty and staff — receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Our primary goal is to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all of our community members, and to minimize the risk for exposure to the virus.
New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the SUNY and CUNY systems will require proof of vaccination for all students attending in-person classes beginning the fall 2021 semester. Additionally, he encouraged all private universities and colleges to adopt the same guidelines. It is also possible that this mandate may eventually extend to private institutions like our own.
That said, while many colleges and universities in our region have already announced vaccine mandates for their respective institutions, including a number of institutions in the Catholic tradition, St. Joseph’s College is still waiting to receive further guidance from our state and federal government before making a final decision on this issue. SJC is considering all options at this current time, which does include the possibility of a vaccine mandate for its on-campus community this fall. If this becomes a reality, the College may consider and provide for medical and religious accommodations and exemptions as allowable by the law.
As we continue to work toward a more normal return to campus in the fall, please rest assured that St. Joseph’s College will remain diligent in enforcing its safety protocols to further prevent the spread of illness on its campuses and to provide a COVID-safe environment for all. We will keep you updated as new guidance is developed and released.