Thursday, Apr 29, 2021
With limited exceptions, all students must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 1
by Adam Grybowski
Rider University will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for the fall 2021 semester.
The requirement applies to all students who are enrolled or will otherwise be present on campus for any reason. Students enrolled in fully online degree programs who do not physically come to campus will not require vaccination.
“Requiring student immunization will help us achieve our first priority, which is protecting the health and safety of our campus community,” says Rider President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D. “Achieving widespread vaccination will also accelerate the return to a campus experience that more closely resembles what students expected before the pandemic.”
Those expectations include extensive in-person teaching, residential housing, and on-campus activities and events. Rider announced in March its intention to return to more-normal campus operations this fall.
The decision to require vaccination comes at a time when vaccine eligibility has expanded nationwide to include anyone 16 years old and over. As of April 28, about 43% of the population in the United States has received at least one dose of the vaccine and almost 30% are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The requirement also aligns with the decisions of many other institutions of higher education across the country and region.
Students are required to submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination via the Healthy Broncs portal no later than Aug. 1. Students arriving early must submit proof of vaccination two weeks before they return to campus. Valid religious and documented medical exemptions will be considered, and the University advises international students to get vaccinated in the United States before they return to their home countries for the summer.
No decision has been made as to whether employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to the start of the fall semester. Rider is currently offering a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for employees, administered by Penn Medicine Princeton Health, that allows them to receive vaccination on campus.
“We strongly encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated as soon as they can,” Dell’Omo says.