June 10: Vaccination Requirement
TO: SJU Community
FROM: Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., President
RE: Vaccination Requirement
DATE: June 10, 2021 at 2:15 P.M.
Dear Members of the SJU Community:
The health and safety of our entire campus community are of paramount importance. We also desire to return fully to a more normal and vibrant on-campus experience, with limited need for testing, isolation, and other mitigation efforts. Accordingly, the University will require all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before participating in any on-campus activity related to the 2021-22 academic year. We will be able to return classrooms, meeting and event spaces, dining and residence halls, study areas, recreation facilities, liturgical services, and more to their full capacity. The full slate and range of student and service activities can and will be offered. Most importantly, we will do our part to reduce risks of serious illness due to COVID-19 among members of our community.
Over the past several weeks, we have been tracking closely the guidance from federal, state, and professional agencies, as well as the decisions of other similarly situated colleges and universities. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance for higher education that supports fully vaccinated campus communities returning to regular in-person and on-campus operations. This follows earlier guidance from the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommending vaccination requirements for students. Several other Jesuit, Catholic, and local/regional institutions have also announced similar vaccination requirements.
We do not take our decision lightly, but upon careful consideration are confident this is the right course of action for our community and fully consistent with our mission. As with other existing vaccination requirements, requests for exemptions for valid medical or religious reasons will be considered.
Later today, the Division of Student Life (for students) and Office of Human Resources (for faculty and staff) will share information about the vaccine documentation and verification processes.
Please know of my appreciation and thanks for your individual and our collective efforts over the past year to press forward safely and successfully. Thank you in advance for your understanding, support, and adherence to this latest request.
Best wishes over the summer months, and I look forward to seeing you on campus again soon.
Mark C. Reed, Ed.D.