By Phoebe Doscher, Editor-in-Chief
President Bob Iuliano announced on Thursday afternoon that all students are required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus for the 2021-22 academic year, with the allowance of medical or religious exemptions. More information will come from College Life regarding exemptions, timing expectations, and documentation.
With vaccinations, Iuliano mentioned the potential to eliminate restrictions like limits on gatherings, heightened enforcement, caps on the number of individuals on campus, and regular testing. “A vaccinated student body will permit us to eliminate as many of these constraints as possible, and it will allow you—our students—to have a more normal college experience,” he said.
This decision follows hundreds of institutions of higher education across the country, including Bowdoin College, Grinnell College, Georgetown University, and New York state’s public colleges and universities. The vaccination requirement also follows guidance from the American College Health Association, which released a recommendation for vaccination requirements on Apr. 29.
“Broad student vaccination is an important way to reduce the risk to those classmates [with underlying conditions.] We will also be doing our part to protect vulnerable residents of the Borough and Adams County,” Iuliano said.
Any student who chooses to defer a decision about vaccination will be granted a leave of absence if requested. Iuliano said that the college does not anticipate offering a remote curriculum next year, and restated that the college will be returning to a residential, in-person experience in the fall.