Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As the university prepares to open in the fall, we write to share SU’s protocol for requesting an exemption from receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. This includes updated information for students and details on what is expected of students, faculty and staff in order to register their vaccinations by the applicable deadlines.
Because the School of Law begins its activities for fall semester in mid-August, earlier deadlines apply to law faculty, staff and students and these will be communicated separately in the next few days.
As the data is demonstrating, vaccinations are making a significant difference in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases. The previously announced requirement that all faculty, staff and students be vaccinated against COVID-19 is integral to our plans to open as fully in-person as possible for the fall academic term. At the same time, we are mindful that vaccinations are not an option for some because of health conditions or sincerely held religious or philosophical beliefs.
Following consultation with shared governance structures, including Academic Assembly, Staff Council and SGSU, the university’s approach on vaccinations and exemptions balances public health guidance with the need to care for and support all members of our community.
Seattle University will be considered a fully vaccinated campus for the fall, as spelled out in the proclamation Governor Inslee issued last week on institutions of higher education. This means we will essentially be able to return to normal, in-person campus operations with fewer restrictions and limitations than campuses that are not fully vaccinated. Consistent with the governor’s proclamation regarding achieving fully vaccinated status, exemptions can be requested for medical, religious and philosophical reasons.
̶ Students (non-law) seeking an exemption must submit a completed exemption form signed by a healthcare provider to the Student Health Center no later than Monday, Aug. 16, by 5 p.m. Exemption forms and instructions are available here. International students or those coming from areas where vaccines are not available will receive assistance accessing the vaccine upon arrival and will be required to follow enhanced safety protocols until fully vaccinated.
̶ Faculty and staff (non-law) seeking an exemption must submit a completed exemption form to Human Resources no later than Friday, July 23 by 5 p.m. Exemption forms are available here. Please contact Ellen Huelmann in Human Resources with any questions.
Anyone who: (1) chooses not to receive a vaccine for medical, religious or philosophical reasons; (2) is otherwise not fully vaccinated; or (3) fails to report their vaccination status to the university as of the established deadlines will be considered unvaccinated. Anyone found to be falsely claiming to be vaccinated is subject to disciplinary action.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information on additional measures that will be required of SU community members who have received exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine. These may include requirements on daily symptom monitoring, regular testing, face coverings, social distancing and other protocols applicable to those who have not been vaccinated.
As Seattle U resumes in-person instruction and normal operations, we will continue to evaluate and periodically update our policies and protocols based on existing science, expert public health opinion, state and federal legal requirements and other resources including: the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health, the American College Health Association and Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I) requirements and guidance for preventing COVID-19 in the workplace. Please also watch for updated information on masking on campus as set forth by the Washington State Department of Health and Governor Inslee’s proclamation for institutions of higher education.
- Vaccination Registration Deadlines
̶ Students (non-law) must register and be fully vaccinated by Sept. 3 or have submitted their exemption form by the Aug. 16 deadline to be considered for an approved exemption. This includes students who are enrolled fully online but will be accessing campus in person. Students must report their vaccination status even if they are not planning to access campus.
̶ As previously announced, faculty and staff (non-law) must register and be fully vaccinated by Sept. 6 or have submitted their exemption form by the July 23 deadline to be considered for an approved exemption.
Students, faculty and staff are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose of their vaccine series. Please factor this into your plans and if you are receiving a two-dose vaccine, be mindful of the recommended intervals between doses one and two (21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna).
For vaccine locations, visit King County, vaccines.gov or text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a location near you. Once fully vaccinated, students, faculty and staff must register here.
We are encouraged by the progress being made on the COVID-19 recovery, however it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over and we must continue to take precautions to prioritize the health and safety of one another. The emergence of new and more transmittable variants of COVID-19 means we must continue to practice our public health protocols as we plan for fall reopening.
Throughout these past 16 months, our students, faculty and staff have consistently acted in the best interest of one another and Seattle University. It is heartening to see that 79% of our faculty, 76% of staff and 37% of students have already registered as vaccinated. We continue to be grateful for your contribution to our mission and look forward to coming back together in person for a new, exciting and very special academic year.
Shane P. Martin, Provost
Campus Opening Co-Chair
Timothy P. Leary, Executive Vice President
Campus Opening Co-Chair