BUFFALO, N.Y. — Canisius College is strongly recommending students get a COVID-19 vaccine, however they will not be requiring students get one before returning to in-person classes and residence halls.
In the announcement made on Thursday, the Office of the President clarified that students who will be living in the dorms will need to provide proof of vaccination or negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival on campus.
A student survey showed that 83% of students surveyed had already gotten a vaccine or were planning on getting one before the start of the fall semester.
"In attempting to decide the course Canisius College will take regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, we have considered these concerns as well as strong concerns expressed by many of the students who have already been vaccinated and who want to see a vaccine mandate on the campus. We are particularly concerned about people who are prevented from either getting the vaccine or developing the antibodies after vaccination due to a preexisting medical condition," the statement from the school said.
However, there are certain "close contact" programs the college will be requiring students to be vaccinated to participate in. Programs that require vaccination include the college's Physician Assistant Studies Program, medical mission trips for pre-med students, and campus ministry immersion trips.
Student athletes will also be required to be vaccinated, based on the college's athletic conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, vote to mandate all student athletes be vaccinated. Canisius College opposed this decision.
It has not been decided when when study abroad programs will resume. The Office of the President stated that vaccines will likely be required for those programs.
"Canisius will continue to monitor developments in the pandemic, especially in light of disturbing new data about the spread of the Delta variant of the virus," the Office of the President stated.
The college will continue to look at U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when making any future campus decisions.