Message to the Campus Community: Student Vaccine Mandate

July 29, 2021 BK LI

The primary goal of St. Joseph’s College is to provide an excellent education to its students, and to do so in a healthy and safe environment. Our campuses have been safe during the pandemic due to the careful measures we have taken to prevent serious outbreaks, and because of the astonishing resilience and good will of our students, faculty and staff. Because of this, I am very optimistic about the coming year, but I also know that we will have to take dramatic measures to ensure the safety of our College community.

That said, after careful consideration and deliberation, the College will be mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all on-campus SJC students enrolled for the fall 2021 semester. New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the SUNY and CUNY systems will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students attending in-person classes this fall *once the vaccine has received full FDA approval, and he also encouraged all private universities and colleges to adopt the same guidelines, which many local institutions like ours have already done. In an ideal world, such a mandate would not be required, but our College is facing a great challenge, and we must meet it head on.

The decision to enact a vaccine mandate will ensure that we can bring the SJC community together as safely as possible this fall. It will enable us to, once again, resume in-person instruction in full, provide a rich and robust student life experience and the supportive atmosphere at the heart of an SJC education while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19 to our families, loved ones and greater community. The methodology for this, including information about possible medical or religious exemptions, will be available in the coming days on the College’s COVID webpages.

To assist those not yet vaccinated, SJC will be offering weekly on- and off-campus vaccination clinics beginning the first week of August. In the meantime, please check here to find available doses on Long Island and here for available doses in New York City. Additionally, information about our new online system where you can upload your vaccination status is coming soon.

Finally, as we continue to work toward our return to campus this fall, please rest assured that St. Joseph’s will remain diligent in monitoring and enforcing public health guidelines to prevent the spread of illness on its campuses and to provide a COVID-safe environment for all. We will keep you updated as new guidelines are developed and released, but please note that all policies are subject to change as per federal, state and local health ordinances. For more information, please check our COVID Resources section of the website.

Thank you for your continued support and compliance as we navigate these difficult times. Your patience, grace and resilience have enabled SJC to weather this pandemic safely and successfully, and I am confident that we will continue to do so together again this fall.

Updated: *August 17, 2021

Editor's Note: Please note that our original message inadvertently left out that SUNY and CUNY will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for all students attending in-person classes this fall once the vaccine has received full FDA approval.