CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Elms College will offer students a full on-campus living and learning experience this fall.

The college is requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated. Representatives said the decision was made based on guidance provided by the Massachusetts Higher Education Testing Group, as well as discussions with faculty and staff on campus.

“The college successfully had students living and taking classes safely on campus at the height of the pandemic, and due to our ElmsSafe health protocols, we completed the 2020-21 academic year that way,” said Elms College President Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA. “With the vaccine readily available and state COVID restrictions easing, I feel confident that we can provide students with an on-campus experience that includes residence halls at pre-pandemic capacities, on-campus classes, competitive sports, and more.”

Dr. Dumay feels there’s adequate time for students and faculty to get fully protected from the virus before the start of the school year.

“Our top priority has always been the health and safety of the entire Elms community – students, faculty, and staff – and it is because of their diligence and hard work over the past year that we are able to make this important decision. We made the decision to require everyone on campus to be fully inoculated in order to facilitate a vibrant and supportive learning environment that is as close to normal as possible. That is what makes the educational experience at Elms so special,” Dumay said.

Dr. Dumay told 22News he’s been studying the research from a Massachusetts testing group of scientists, “The science tells us that the community campus can be fully protected if you reach 90 percent, that’s not going to happen without this effort.”