“Community care: College is requiring vaccines for fall 2021” letter sent to the Beloit community
With vaccines available and widely adopted, we are planning an in-person 2021-22 academic year, with the traditional semester calendar and breaks. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 23, and students will enjoy the complete Beloit experience: residential living, campus activities, and services.
At the same time, COVID-19 will remain a reality, and that will require us to continue our health and safety measures. We are confident that Beloit’s spirit of “self-care is community care” will allow us to succeed in keeping our community safe, in-person, and as close to “normal” as possible.
Here is how we will do it.
The newest CDC guidelines make it crystal clear that the way we return to a more normal on-campus experience is to require all Beloit College students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated. Our goal is to have nearly all of the community vaccinated by the fall to allow us to resume all the activities we did prior to the pandemic.
Beginning this fall, students, faculty, and staff will not need to wear masks or attend regular testing if they have been fully vaccinated, nor will they have to quarantine if they are designated a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Testing and quarantine will continue for those who display symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
Students should send proof of vaccination to Tara Girard. Faculty and staff should send their proof of vaccination to Heather McLean or Terri Dahl. Vaccine appointments are widely available, including at many pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens.
We understand that some individuals will not be able to get the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons, or strong philosophical objections. Unvaccinated members of our community will need to attend regular testing, quarantine if designated a close contact of a positive case, wear masks, and follow physical distancing guidelines. Students with questions about exemptions should contact the Health and Wellness Center and employees should contact Human Resources.
As it has done from the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Task Force will closely monitor regional, national, and international developments, in addition to CDC recommendations, in order to evolve our policies and ensure the health and safety of our campus. If you have questions or concerns about vaccinations in general, please email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to work individually with those students who are unable to get to campus because of travel or visa restrictions, or other personal concerns, to allow them to remain enrolled at Beloit. A subcommittee of the COVID-19 Task Force dedicated to international students is considering access to courses, housing, travel, and vaccinations, as well as lobbying our representatives to free up VISA requirements to ease travel to the U.S. for an education. And, since vaccine availability may be more limited for international students, we will institute a process for them and all students to be vaccinated upon arrival if they have been unable to obtain vaccinations before arriving.
We are confident of our community’s ability to navigate challenges with agility and creativity. Together, we will take any precautions that remain necessary, and adapt quickly to changing local, national, and global conditions.
What is certain is that we’re excited for the safe, robust, meaningful, and engaging campus life that awaits us in August.
Scott Bierman, President
Eric Boynton, Provost and Dean of the College
Cecil Youngblood, Dean of Students and Chief Diversity Officer