Dear Students and Loyola Families,
Colleagues and departments across the University are actively preparing for our Fall 2021 semester that will be in-person, on-campus, and a more typical college experience. With the greater availability of vaccines and continued progress toward herd immunity, you can certainly look forward to a magnificent Fall 2021.
As part of our planning, we have decided to require that all students who will be attending classes in person this fall be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
All undergraduate and graduate students attending classes in person must receive their final dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines and send proof of the vaccination to firstname.lastname@example.org
by Aug. 1, 2021. Exemptions, which can be requested through this waiver form, will be granted only for medical and religious reasons.
The members of the President’s Cabinet and I made this decision in consultation with trusted medical experts who have advised us throughout the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should receive the vaccine as soon as they can, and many of our peer colleges and universities are requiring this of their students, as well. Getting vaccinated protects your health, as well as those around you—including the most vulnerable among us who are medically not able to receive the vaccine.
As the need for COVID-19 boosters evolves, we will monitor the data to see what we need to do to stay current as a community. We will also mandate the flu shot for all residential students later this fall when the annual vaccine becomes available, again allowing for medical and religious exemptions. Student Health Services will provide more information about that during the Fall 2021 semester.
With a vaccinated student population on campus next fall, we will be able to offer our students a richer in-person experience, reduce testing, carve out less space for isolation and quarantine, and let students interact more freely. We will also help contribute to the health of our Baltimore community.
You can learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine and where to find a vaccine on our COVID-19 vaccines page.
Summer Vaccination Expectations
All undergraduate and graduate students who will participate in in-person classes, activities, jobs, or other programs during the summer months are expected to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Recognizing that it can be challenging to get vaccinated quickly, we are offering a grace period for this requirement.
Students who have not submitted proof of vaccination to email@example.com
or receive confirmation of a granted medical or religious exemption by July 1, 2021, will not be able to participate in in-person programs, jobs, or classes.
Vaccine Clinic on the Evergreen Campus: Loyola is planning to host a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the Evergreen campus on Tuesday, May 25, (for the first dose) and Tuesday, June 15, (for the second dose) for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We will provide information on how to register soon.
Expectations for Employees
We are not yet requiring our faculty, staff, and administrators to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We are, however, strongly encouraging them to receive the vaccine—and we are setting a clear expectation that they should choose to be vaccinated in the interest of the health of our community. We also continue to examine the possibility of requiring the vaccine for employees, and we reserve the right to require vaccination in the future.
For now, we are most concerned about our student population, which has experienced and contributed to community spread the most during the past year. Transmission happens much more rarely through work interactions, whereas we saw transmission occurring regularly in congregate living—both on and off-campus. Our faculty, staff, and administrators saw a much lower incidence in overall infection—and we saw that they willingly complied with public health mitigation strategies, such as symptom monitoring and mask compliance.
Our faculty, staff, and administrators are also willingly getting the COVID-19 vaccines—more than 50% have reported that they have already been vaccinated. They understand—and I expect our other colleagues to do the same—that we walk together as a community, accompanying one another and working together to serve the common good.
As members of a Jesuit, Catholic university community, we must consistently ask ourselves to make decisions not just for ourselves but also for the benefit of others around us. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 helps both the individual and the community. What a relief to be able to take advantage of this option and help society move closer to the end of this pandemic.
God bless you and your families and know that you are in my prayers every day.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.