Fall semester COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
As we look forward to returning to a fully in-person, residential learning experience for the fall semester, I write today to announce that Skidmore College will be requiring that all students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus for the fall.
In arriving at this decision, the College has continued to consider the latest scientific evidence and the advice of local, national and global medical experts, as well as the guidance of many other college presidents and health experts at residential higher education institutions like Skidmore. To date, more than 400 colleges and universities throughout the country have announced a vaccination requirement for the fall. Also of note, the American College Health Association (ACHA) has recommended that colleges require COVID-19 vaccinations for all on-campus students for the fall 2021 semester.
Returning to a fully active, in-person teaching model is essential to Skidmore’s mission, and we are excited to soon be able to offer a more normal, pre-pandemic experience to our students once again. Courses will be taught in person, with only rare exceptions.
This vaccination requirement will protect our students and the rest of our college community, which remains our top priority. Subject to an approval process, requests for medical and religious exemptions to this requirement will be permitted. More information regarding the processes for submitting proof of vaccination or applying for an exemption will follow soon.
Currently accepted COVID-19 vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and an evolving list of international vaccines accepted by the World Health Organization. Vaccines must be approved by either the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization to be acceptable. Only individuals who have received all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of public health guidance. The College will work closely with any international students who may have difficulty accessing one of these vaccines or have access to a vaccine not listed, and those instances will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
This vaccination requirement also extends to all students enrolled in any study abroad programs sponsored by Skidmore, on or off campus.
Our vaccination policy for faculty and staff remains under consideration as we continue to closely monitor the vaccination rates of our employees. In the meantime, we continue to strongly encourage all faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we strive to keep our Skidmore community safe and provide the fully in-person liberal arts experience our students expect and deserve. We will continue to communicate further fall planning details as they become available, and we look forward to seeing you on campus soon.
Marc C. Conner