Updated: May 20
Salisbury University announced updated restrictions facing unvaccinated students for the upcoming fall semester, ranging from bans on sports and roommates to twice-per-week COVID-19 testing.
SU President Charles Wight said Tuesday all unvaccinated students without a medical or religious exemption for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will need to instead receive an SU-administered coronavirus test every Tuesday and Thursday in the fall.
Those individuals will also be restricted from multiple-occupancy housing and forced to live alone.
Missing a scheduled bi-weekly testing time will result in that individual losing access to all campus facilities and the university’s Wi-Fi network, Wight said.
Campus community members who receive vaccination exemptions will still need to be tested twice per week, though more flexibility on testing dates will be offered for those individuals.
Unvaccinated students without an exemption will also be barred from intercollegiate athletics and unable to participate in varsity, club or intramural sports at the university, said Dane Foust, vice president of student affairs.
Other “high-risk activities” on campus, in addition to athletic competitions, will be “extremely limited” for those students and are currently being evaluated by Campus Health, Wight said.
While a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all University System of Maryland students and employees has already been implemented for the fall semester, face masks are still required indefinitely for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in all SU buildings, per a recent Stay Informed email.
“Our main consideration is keeping everyone safe, so the mask mandate is remaining in place,” Wight said.
Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the statewide masking requirement Saturday for all Marylanders following an abrupt shift in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, which suggested all fully vaccinated Americans could resume pre-pandemic activities.
Wight addressed campus community members with the new policies during a virtual town hall alongside Foust and Provost Karen Olmstead.
Olmstead said students should expect around 85% of all SU instruction to be delivered in person with pre-pandemic classroom densities.
“I’m excited for [SU] to come alive in the fall,” Foust said.
Vaccinated students will still need to receive a “return test” between June 1 and Aug. 29, which will serve as their final required COVID-19 test for the year.
SU has set a target date of July 6 for all campus community members to receive at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wight advised all students to complete SU’s COVID-19 vaccination consent form on Gullnet, as individuals who do not submit documentation will be considered unvaccinated.
Medical or religious exemption requests for the vaccination mandate should be emailed to Campus Health at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “exemption.”
For more information on SU’s testing protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Salisbury University Flickr page.