State universities to require vaccine

Hampshire County

A University of Vermont student walks toward a tent leading to a COVID-testing site on campus in Burlington, Vt. Colleges throughout the U.S. are assuring students that this coming fall will bring a return to in-person classes, intramural sports and mostly full dormitories. But those promises come with asterisks. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Joining Northeastern University, Emerson College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Massachusetts state university system became the latest to require that its students be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to campus for in-person classes in the fall semester.

Undergraduate and graduate students who are attending in-person classes, conducting research on campus, living in residence halls or participating in campus life activities will be required to become fully inoculated prior to the start of the 2021 academic year, the presidents of the nine state universities agreed, according to the State Universities Council of Presidents.

“Student safety and the safety of our communities remains at the forefront of our planning as we prepare to return to in-person learning and campus life in the fall,” James Birge, president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and chair of the Massachusetts State University Council of Presidents, said.

State university employees are also expected to get vaccinated before the fall semester begins. The new requirement applies to students at Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Salem, Westfield and Worcester state universities, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

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