Manhattanville College to require COVID-19 vaccine for all returning fall students
Students will need to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they want to return to Manhattanville College campus this fall.
Hybrid learning continues at Manhattanville College this semester, but the school plans to return to full in-person learning in the fall - and to do so, all medically eligible students must get the COVID-19 vaccine to be on campus.
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College officials made the announcement Tuesday as the vaccine eligibility guidelines expanded to all New Yorkers 16 and older. They say by requiring all students to be vaccinated by the fall semester, they will be able to fully reopen classrooms as well as lounges, gyms, dining halls, and even allow students to have guests visit campus once again. College President Michael Geisler says this decision prioritizes health and safety. "It's really, very important for us to get back to the environment that students need," he says.
"It would help because having online classes isn't the same as being in-person. You don't get the same level of education and it just doesn't feel like you're in college," says freshman Roma Clifford. Not everyone is on board with the plan.
A petition against the vaccine requirement is circulating right now, with about 200 student and parent signatures.
Sophomore Ariana McConway is leading that effort.
"It's really up to them if they want to lose 200 students and lose out on all the money and being able to give them an education, just because of a vaccine that we're not comfortable with," she says.
McConway says several students are looking into transferring if the school doesn't change its vaccine stance, adding they would be OK quarantining at home if exposed to the virus.
As of now, Manhattanville officials say they are not planning to offer hybrid classes in the fall in order to focus on returning to in-person learning.
While Manhattanville has made its decision, SUNY schools are waiting on more guidance, but are distributing thousands of Johnson & Johnson shots to all students who want them before the spring semester ends.
Pace University and Iona College say they are highly encouraging their students to get the vaccine but have not decided about requiring it before opening for full in-person learning later this year.