St. Bonaventure University announces vaccine requirement for fall 2021 semester

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Posted at 11:51 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 11:51:35-04

OLEAN, N.Y. (WKBW) — St. Bonaventure University announced Thursday a vaccine requirement for the fall 2021 semester.

All students, which includes residential, off-campus and commuter students, will be required to complete a COVID-19 vaccination. Those students will then need to provide documentation of vaccination before returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester. Fully online and non-residential graduate students will not be required to complete a COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the university limited religious and medical exemptions will be granted and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with guidance from public health officials, St. Bonaventure policy and applicable law. Specific details on providing required documentation will be sent after July 4 and must be completed before residential students will be issued a room key or off-campus students will be permitted to attend class.

The university says the decision is aligned with recommendations from the American College Health Association, CDC and NYSDOH.

Our decision to require vaccines is aligned with strong recommendations from the American College Health Association, Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health. More than 100 colleges and universities in New York have issued similar vaccine requirements.

This decision was not made lightly, but the congregate nature of a university that’s predominantly residential would have left us with no choice but to continue enforcing — to varying degrees — the CDC-recommended COVID protocols that students had grown weary of: masks, social distancing and gathering limits in classrooms, residence halls, dining facilities and Richter Center; visitation limits in residence halls; restrictions on intramurals, clubs and organizations; continued pool testing and daily health screening; quarantining for exposed unvaccinated students; and altering campus living arrangements to separate vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

While we cannot be certain what, if any, public health measures related to COVID will be required in the fall, we anticipate that we will have more freedom on a fully vaccinated campus than if a significant portion of our campus community members are unprotected.

Congratulations to all the incoming Bonaventure freshmen who have graduated, or who are about to graduate this weekend. And to everyone, please enjoy your summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall.
- Acting St. Bonaventure President, Dr. Joseph E. Zimmer, Ph.D.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo previously announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all in-person students at SUNY and CUNY schools.

Hilbert College also announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement Monday.