All Seton Hall University community members will be required to upload proof of vaccination by January 14, according to a Thursday email from the Health Intervention and Communication Team.
The move came after a new federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for organizations with more than 100 employees, though courts recently blocked the mandate from going into effect.
On May 14, 2021, Seton Hall University’s Executive Cabinet announced that it would require students returning for the Fall 2021 semester to fill out a “confidential vaccination declaration.”
Those who filled out the survey were not required to provide any proof of vaccination, but the announcement from the Cabinet said they “may be asked to provide proof of vaccination should Seton Hall collect additional information in the future.”
The results of the declaration suggest that the community is widely vaccinated, but the data is self-reported and not currently backed up by proof of vaccination.
“I think it’s a fair expectation from Seton Hall for their student workers to be vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination,” Luke Schreder, a Resident Advisor and senior history major said. “It should have been a requirement in the beginning of the semester to provide proof of vaccination rather than just claiming a status without proof.”
As the weather gets colder, there is rising concern about whether cases will rise and if there is a possibility that the new vaccination requirement will help keep case numbers low.
Senior visual and sound media major Angelique McKenzie said she was not optimistic.
“I don’t think the vaccine requirement alone will cause numbers to stay low or go down,” McKenzie said. “I am fully vaccinated and still got COVID, so I think the school needs to do more than just require vaccine proof if they want to control the spread of COVID.”
Some students, Schreder among them, said they are unsure if the new vaccination requirement will cause a rise in vaccination numbers.
“I don’t think that the vaccination requirement will change much,” Schreder said. “Especially since it has space for employees to still claim a religious or medical exemption.”
Senior journalism major Dylan Hunt, who is a student worker, said the exemptions should be tightened.
“I think they will need to be stricter with what they consider to be an acceptable exemption,” Hunt said. “Especially if they hope to keep numbers as low as they have been as we head into the winter months and with the new strains that are popping up.”
Sophomore political science major Julianna Grenci said she hopes that this will help return to a normal academic experience.
“I feel like the new requirements are a step in the right direction towards full normalcy,” Grenci said. “With an increase in vaccinations, cases will most certainly decrease, and the SHU community can possibly be completely mask-less soon.”
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine does not appear on the list of required or recommended vaccines provided by Seton Hall Health Services.
Vaccine cards can be uploaded through Qualtrics.
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