Sarah Carter ’24
Last week, students at the College of the Holy Cross received news of a developing vaccine mandate at the College that will take effect in the coming fall semester. The mandate will necessitate that students be fully vaccinated in order to return to campus in the fall – a requisite step for facilitating a return to pre-pandemic learning and living conditions at the College. Students became privy to the College’s plans to vaccinate its student populace in an email correspondence from Father Boroughs, President of the College. Within his message, Father Boroughs maintains that every student intending to reside on campus in the fall must receive and demonstrate proof of their coronavirus vaccination prior to re-arriving to campus. While faculty and other members of the College community are advised to schedule their own vaccine appointments, as well, no stipulations requiring faculty members to receive the vaccination are included in the message.
To seek out more information, The Spire communicated with Director of COVID Response Operations, David Shettler, who revealed that: Getting as many people as possible vaccinated will give us the best chance for a semester that looks like a typical Holy Cross semester. This is a crucial step towards the more traditional Holy Cross experience that we all crave. That means in-person classes and activities, including athletics, and relaxed social distancing. The finer details of our plans are still being worked out. And many decisions await guidance from our local public health authorities. Guidelines for masking, testing and distancing won’t be finalized until later this summer. But regardless of the details, we are committed to, and planning for, a complete slate of in-person classes and activities. We are strongly urging faculty and staff to be vaccinated as well. We are continually evaluating what requirements are feasible for all members of our community from a public health, legal, and logistical perspective. Those discussions are ongoing.
In the coming weeks, students should plan to receive more information regarding the vaccine mandate and anticipated conditions for living on campus in the fall. Among the information the College will disseminate, students will likely hear about the new social distancing requirements (whether or not there will be any and if so, what will they be) and mask-wearing policy for the fall (if they are necessary and to what extent, if so), in addition to learning more about the College’s preparations for a return to fully in-person activities on campus.