Marching Forward outlines Siena's ongoing response to COVID-19.
Siena College is eagerly planning to return to traditional delivery modes of instruction and campus activity for the Fall 2021 semester, which begins September 6. We plan to have classrooms, residence halls and dining areas at normal capacity, and to offer a full slate of in-person student clubs and athletics. Our ability to withdraw masking and physical distancing protocols is contingent on COVID-19 vaccination, and a fully vaccinated community is the best way to ensure we all are able to enjoy the full Siena experience.
We remain wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that Siena continues to provide The Education for a Lifetime. To that end, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be required for all on-campus students and employees for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. All incoming and returning Siena students must receive their vaccine and upload proof of full vaccination to the student health portal by August 1.
The safety of our students has been and always will be our top priority. Thanks to careful adherence to health and safety protocols – and our Student Acknowledgment and Pledge – Siena was able to provide an uninterrupted on-campus, in-class experience for everyone who wanted one during the last academic year and we are committed to doing the same this year.
Will the Siena community still have to wear masks and be socially distanced this fall?
It is the College’s intent to withdraw all physical distancing measures and move toward a mask-optional policy in all indoor settings this fall. Of course, that position is contingent upon a vaccinated community - students and employees.
If I am not vaccinated and the vaccine receives full FDA approval as expected, will I be able attend classes remotely this fall?
No. Again, we are requiring the COVID vaccine to protect the health of our community, and to provide everyone with the full Siena campus experience.
How will I show proof that I have been fully vaccinated?
Students must upload a copy of their proof of vaccination to the Siena Student Health portal by August 1.
What is the difference between “emergency” FDA approval and “full” approval of the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines produced by different pharmaceutical companies were issued emergency approval by the FDA earlier this year to control the spread of the pandemic. Vaccination has proven extremely effective at protecting the public. Full approval is expected from the FDA very soon.
If I am fully vaccinated but still want to wear a mask on campus this fall, may I do so?
If I haven’t yet been vaccinated, where can I get my shots?
Vaccines are readily available at many locations. Please check with your county health department or family physician.
Will there be exemptions for people with medical conditions or whose religious beliefs prohibit vaccinations?
Yes. As with other required vaccines, exemptions can be made for these reasons. Students must apply for these exemptions through Siena’s Office of Health Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Exemptions are strictly limited to religious and medical reasons and this process is conducted in consultation with medical, theological and legal experts.