.Incoming college students are going through orientation this month, learning about academics, life in the dorm and how to get around campus.
And this fall, that means no face masks, dining halls open normal hours and the return of social activities, clubs and sports.
After more than a year of taking classes online from home and social distancing and quarantining on campus, colleges and universities are looking forward to returning the college experience to a more traditional one in the fall semester.
“For college students, the world shut down during a defining period of their lives – the time when interests are nurtured, challenges are transcended, bonds are built, and futures are shaped,” State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras wrote in the USA Today Network.
Covid-19 vaccinations are mandatory at many colleges.
New York State is requiring its more than 1 million students in 64 SUNY schools to be vaccinated, provided the Food and Drug Administration gives full approval for the vaccines, which now are authorized for “emergency use.”
SUNY colleges are getting the word out now, imploring students not to wait until the last minute to be vaccinated.
Canisius College is still finalizing plans for the fall. Niagara University has decided vaccinations will be encouraged, but not required at this point for students, faculty and staff. Face masks, social distancing and daily health screenings are not mandatory at Niagara, but may be required for some areas, such as clinical placements for nursing students.
More than 19,000 University at Buffalo students have reported they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“With the virus at an all-time low in Western New York and New York State, and with the high rates of vaccination in our campus community, UB will be fully in person in the fall,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said in a statement Friday.
Students and employees who are not vaccinated are to wear a mask at indoor and outdoor locations at UB, except in their residence hall rooms, personal workstations or while eating in university dining areas, according to the college.
Masks also are required for all passengers on UB buses and at health care settings such as Student Health Services and the Dental Clinic.
It’s not just public universities requiring vaccinations.
Acting St. Bonaventure University President Joseph E. Zimmer informed students and parents in June that vaccinations will be required for students. He noted that the pandemic has been hard on everyone, and the college looked at ways to return to the experience most “Bonnies” will recognize.
“The truth is, though, the Bonaventure of the last 15 months wasn’t the Bonaventure that generations of students have come to love, the Bonaventure that our new and current students want to attend,” Zimmer said in a letter posted on the college’s website. “Since our spring semester ended, we’ve reflected on what our returning students told us about their Covid-19 experience and how desperately they want a return to the Bonaventure they know.”
There will be some exemptions granted from the vaccination requirement for medical and religious reasons, he said.
Fully online, nonresidential graduate students do not need to be vaccinated.
University leaders came to the conclusion that without vaccinations, the predominantly residential campus would have to continue enforcing safety protocols, such as masks, social distancing and gathering limits, visitation limits in residence halls and restrictions on intramurals, clubs and organizations, among others.
Hilbert College also is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated by this fall.
“Inspired by our Catholic, Franciscan identity, these measures are meant to serve the common good and uphold the safety and well-being of our campus community, particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” Hilbert President Michael S. Brophy said in a letter posted on the college website.
But he said no individual will be required to wear a mask or be socially distanced on campus.
This article was originally published on Website: https://buffalonews.com/
Author is: Barbara O’Brien