Returning to Campus in the Fall
Dear Goucher community,
As this spring semester comes to a successful close many of you have contacted me to inquire about our plans for the fall, particularly in light of the evolving guidance that has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently concerning the pandemic.
First, let me emphasize once again, that at Goucher College, we are planning to return to a primarily on-campus, in-person learning experience for our undergraduate students this fall. This includes a return to fully occupied residence halls and the resumption of all Landmark conference athletic competition.
Of course, we will continue to make arrangements to ensure that every student has the opportunity to continue their education at Goucher including international students who may not be able to re-enter the U.S. this fall due to travel restrictions or our immuno-compromised students who have been advised by their doctor to continue their study online remotely for their own safety and not return to campus this fall.
However, for everyone else, the expectation should be we will see you back on campus this fall.
Over the past few months, with all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, one thing has become extremely clear: that the three novel coronavirus vaccines currently approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) under emergency use authorization — those developed by Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson — have all proven to be extremely safe and amazingly effective in protecting individuals from contracting COVID-19.
Given the clearly demonstrated track record of these vaccines in preventing COVID-19 — anywhere from 74% to 95% effective — and our desire to welcome all our students back to campus in the fall, Goucher College will be requiring that all undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students, as well as all graduate students who have any reason to come onto campus, need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to enrolling for the fall semester. We are also requiring that students be vaccinated for the flu, once available. More information will be distributed to students at the start of the fall semester.
Vaccination exemptions will only be granted to students who apply and receive a qualified exemption from the College due to (a) a documented medical condition confirmed by a licensed healthcare provider (for example, an MD, DO, NP, PA); or (b) religious exemption, which must include a detailed written statement of personal beliefs AND a letter from your religious leader/clergy person. To request an exemption form or for more information, contact the student health center at (410) 337-6050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students must submit proof of immunization information or exemption requests by Monday, July 12, 2021. Vaccination records can be uploaded to a student’s Medicat account. Failure to submit this information or an exemption request will result in your registration for the Fall 2021 being dropped.
Students that are fully vaccinated are encouraged to upload that information as soon as possible. Uploading the information will ensure that your information is up to date and accurate should you lose or misplace your vaccination card.
Vaccinated students will be exempt from ongoing COVID surveillance testing this fall and will be able to adhere to the relaxed guidelines concerning face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals that were just announced by the CDC yesterday. Students granted exemptions will continue to be included in our weekly COVID surveillance testing program and will be required to always wear a face mask while on campus.
The College will also continue to monitor faculty and staff vaccination rates and will work to get all employees coming onto campus vaccinated prior to the start of the fall semester.
Please note that as CDC guidelines continue to evolve, we too will monitor and adjust our policies in the best interest of our community and will update our website accordingly. Please be sure to check it for the most up to date information.
I look forward to seeing everyone in the fall.
Kent Devereaux, President