From the President, re: Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Southern Students

June 25, 2021

Dear Southern students,

The CSCU Board of Regents for Higher Education has voted to require that all students participating in on-campus activities at Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) institutions during the fall 2021 semester be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.   The takeaway message is that you must be fully vaccinated -- or have an exemption approved -- before coming to campus for any reason during the fall term.

With most students anticipated to return to campus the week of August 23, we ask that you be fully vaccinated and have uploaded your vaccination card to Southern’s Student Health Services patient health portal by August 9 at the latest.  Exemption requests may be submitted for medical or non-medical reasons and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

For students who wish to receive their vaccinations on campus, we expect to hold vaccination clinics on campus later this summer -- more information on these clinics is forthcoming. You can also find out where and how to receive your vaccination at a location near your home by utilizing the CT Vaccine Portal.

If you have any questions about the vaccination policy, please contact COVID Coordinator Erin Duff at covid-19coordinator@southernct.edu or visit the Fall 2021 Reopening website, which will be updated with the latest information as we have it, including a Vaccine Requirement FAQ.

Please remember that getting vaccinated protects your health, as well as the health of those around you, especially individuals who are medically compromised and can’t receive the vaccination. Universal vaccinations will also allow Southern to return to pre-COVID experiences and eliminate many of the health and safety restrictions we had to implement during the last year, including masking, social distancing and quarantining.  But to do so, we must have a high percentage of our campus population vaccinated.

A dynamic and vibrant campus requires all members of our campus community to feel that they can return safely with as minimal exposure to COVID as possible.  Vaccinations are the most effective approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, and especially the new variants that are emerging.

We will be keeping you informed as we learn more about evolving policies for the fall semester. In the meantime, stay safe, be well, and enjoy your summer.

Joe Bertolino

President