Campus Invited to Open Forums to Discuss Vaccination Mandate

Published: August 30, 2021 | Category: Administration

The following email was sent to all faculty, staff and students on Monday, August 30: 

Dear SUU Colleagues,

We are looking forward to a vibrant fall semester and having students back on campus in just over a week. We are also very concerned for the health, safety, and well-being of every member of the SUU family. As you may have seen, last Friday, the Chair of the Utah Board of Higher Education sent a letter to university presidents giving USHE institutions individual authority to require COVID vaccinations for students, with exemptions for medical, religious, or simply for personal reasons. Since this letter was received, the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, and Utah Valley University have adopted a requirement for students to be vaccinated. It is important to note, their mandates do not go into effect during the fall semester, but students will have to be vaccinated or declare an exemption in order to attend the spring semester.

While discussions at SUU are underway, we have a few weeks before we have to make a vaccination decision for spring semester and would like to receive input from you. For that purpose we have scheduled three faculty and staff and two student forums over the next few weeks via Zoom. The details of these forums follow:

Faculty/Staff Forums

  • Tuesday, August 31st at 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 1st at 4:00 pm
  • Friday, September 10th at 1:00 pm

Student Forums

  • Monday, September 13th at 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday, September 14th at 12:00 pm

We value everyone’s health and our campus culture of shared governance. We have already received a number of emails and other forms of correspondence from faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, community members, and legislators on all sides of this issue. We welcome this feedback and invite you to participate in these forums and continue to reach out to us and share your thoughts. There is also a feedback link on suu.edu/coronavirus under “ask your questions”.

While we study this issue, we encourage all to get vaccinated. To help the University community get vaccinated and protect one another, SUU is hosting vaccination clinics for students, faculty, and staff. We will hold our on-campus vaccination clinics on September 14, October 26, November 9, and December 7.

The COVID task force has been meeting weekly, as has the cabinet to discuss and provide solutions to the ever-evolving COVID situation. We have taken significant precautions and will continue to update the SUU COVID website with the latest information.

As a reminder, before fall semester begins, we encourage each member of the SUU community to complete the following:

  1. Get vaccinated: Learn more about vaccine safety from the CDC. More information about on-campus vaccination clinics can be found on the SUU COVID website.
  2. Wear a mask: SUU is a mask-recommended campus. The University recommends that students, faculty, staff, and visitors wear masks inside campus buildings and when you can't social distance.
  3. If you are sick, please stay home and follow appropriate protocols: Your professors and supervisors will be flexible and work with you to make accommodations.
  4. Get Tested: If you have symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19, please get tested and stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible (including taking leave for work when needed) at least until you receive a negative test result.
  5. Get Informed: Check the SUU COVID website often and follow the recommendations of the state and local public health department.

Please engage in this process so your voice can be heard. We look forward to working together to decide how we can best manage this challenging environment.

Sincerely,
Mindy Benson
Jon Anderson
Marvin Dodge
Stuart Jones
Jared Tippets
Debbie Corum


Tags: Coronavirus

Contact Information:

David Bishop
435-586-5400
davidbishop@suu.edu