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Interim President Marcia White sent the following announcement to students today (August 18, 2021):

Dear students,

Thank you for paying close attention to communications about the return to campus this fall. Staying up-to-date in a rapidly changing situation is not easy. As we’ve experienced, circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic are fluid, and we’ve adapted our COVID-19 policies as we’ve received new information. This is one of those times.

As mentioned in my July 30 update, the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is of growing concern, and infection rates have been rising rapidly across the country. We previously announced that undergraduate and graduate students will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine in order to come to campus after the vaccine receives full FDA approval. Now that federal officials anticipate full FDA approval of one of the vaccines within the next several weeks and most private colleges, the NE-10, the U.S. armed forces, and federal and state government are announcing vaccine mandates, we are moving up our vaccine mandate timeline to protect our campus and wider community. There are members of our greater community, such as children under 12, who are not yet vaccine eligible, and who we have a responsibility as our dear neighbors to protect.

We are now mandating that all students and employees have until September 9 to get their first dose.

All students and employees coming to campus are required to provide documentation that they have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination series no later than end of day on September 9.

September 9 is the date of our free on-campus Pfizer vaccination clinic, which we have scheduled to ensure that all members of our community have easy access to the vaccine. The second shot will be administered at the on-campus follow-up clinic on September 30. If you are not yet vaccinated, you can sign up for your on-campus vaccine on September 9 by using this link.

The vaccine has been proven to significantly reduce the chance of serious illness and death from COVID-19, and it is a critical weapon in our pandemic battle. Just as with the MMR vaccine requirement, students can apply for a medical or religious exemption, and information about filing for an exemption is on the restart website.

Students who do not comply with the vaccine requirement – aside from those who are granted a medical or religious exemption – will not be able to register for Spring 2022 courses. Students who live on campus may lose their ability to stay in the residence halls. More information will be provided on this policy by Residence Life.

Required documentation to return to campus and prevention tips

We are sharing this information so you can provide vaccination documentation now or plan to get vaccinated. Getting the vaccine is easy, and there are multiple options. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or visit your county website to see vaccination options.

What fully vaccinated students need to do: Students who have already completed their vaccination series should upload a scan or photo of their COVID-19 vaccination card to Medicat now. For assistance on using Medicat, please see this guide.

What students who haven’t been vaccinated need to do: Students who have not yet been vaccinated should either sign up for the September 9 clinic on campus or get their first dose at a location of their choosing and send a photo of their vaccine card, along with their negative COVID-19 PCR test result (taken within 72 hours before arrival on campus) to Students can find details on how to submit that information, as well as a checklist to prepare for the return to campus, on this informational page.

Mask requirement and other prevention tips

The battle with COVID-19 is not yet won, but there are steps we can take as a community to limit the spread of the virus:

  • Get the vaccine. Again, we know the vaccine has been shown to reduce your chances of getting severely sick or dying. If you have concerns about vaccination, please watch this video from Dr. Mark Parisi, the College’s director of counseling and health services, or contact Health Services at to discuss your concerns.
  • Wear a mask when inside College buildings regardless of vaccination status. This isn’t just a courtesy; it is a requirement, as wearing masks is an important way to reduce airborne transmission. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors.
  • Engage in smart practices, like frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer and staying home when you’re sick. The College is maintaining the same cleaning, air filtration, and other safety measures that have been in place throughout the pandemic. More detail can be found under the environmental safety section of the restart website.
  • Consider participating in low-risk activities, such as gathering with friends outdoors.
  • Get tested when you are randomly selected. The College will be conducting weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing again beginning the first week in September. When you receive a notification that you’ve been selected, please sign up for your timeslot to participate in this simple and painless self-administered saliva test.
  • Stay informed. Our weekly COVID-19 updates from Dr. Mark Parisi will resume in the fall semester. Read those emails closely for a look at the COVID-19 dashboard and other helpful information.
  • By working together, we can make a difference in the fight against COVID. If you have questions, please reach out to or consult the restart website. We look forward to seeing you soon.


    Marcia White
    Interim President