As part of Elmhurst University’s plan to provide a safe, in-person learning and working environment this fall, the University will require students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic year.
The requirement will apply to both undergraduate and graduate students who are planning to attend in-person classes and other University programs and activities on campus.
For the past few months, as COVID-19 vaccines become increasingly available and continue to prove highly effective at preventing COVID infections, the University has strongly encouraged all members of the campus community to get vaccinated. The vaccination requirement was established as the reasonable next step.
Students, faculty and staff will need to submit verification of full vaccination by Aug. 10, 2021. Recognizing that the requirement may be complicated for some, and that they may not be able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, the University will consider exemptions in those cases and will work to support individuals according to their situation.
“The vaccination requirement is in keeping with our values of belonging, connectedness and community,” said Elmhurst University President Troy D. VanAken in a June 3 message to campus. “It will strengthen our ability to protect the health and safety of our campus and our neighbors. And it will enable us to return to the kind of academic and co-curricular experience our students expect and deserve.”
The decision to require vaccinations was debated at various levels of the University, and ultimately was based on the recommendations of the University’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Academic Working Group, Faculty Council, Student Government Association Executive Board and Staff Council. Campus leadership also consulted with the University’s Board of Trustees COVID-19 Working Group and legal counsel. The plan is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College Health Association and the Restore Illinois Plan.
This fall, Elmhurst plans to resume in-person teaching and learning, co-curricular activities, dance and musical performances, lectures, athletic events and 150th anniversary celebration activities, with the appropriate public health safeguards.
“Put simply, our students, faculty and staff deserve to live and work in an environment where public health measures, guided by science and best practices, help keep all of us safer,” the COVID-19 Task Force wrote in a statement sent to campus on June 3. “Our goal with this requirement is to allow us to return to ‘normal’ as much as possible.”
More information about the vaccination requirement, including the process for submitting proof of vaccination, can be found at elmhurst.edu/vaccineFAQ.