Marching Forward outlines Siena's comprehensive response to COVID-19.
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 College was able to provide an uninterrupted on-campus, in-class experience for everyone who wanted one during the last academic year. Many other colleges were not able to do this.
We remain wholeheartedly committed to to ensuring that Siena continues to provide The Education for a Lifetime. To that end, a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be effective for the start of the 2021-22 academic year, for students who will be on campus, pending full approval of the vaccine by the FDA which we expect this summer. We encourage all Siena students to receive their vaccine as soon as possible. Please do not wait.
Siena is eagerly planning to return to traditional delivery modes of instruction for the Fall 2021 semester, with classrooms, residence halls and dining areas at normal capacity, as well as a full slate of student activities, clubs and athletics. Our ability to modify masking and physical distancing protocols is contingent on a vaccinated community.
Details about our campus operations for the fall 2021 semester are being developed and will be posted can be found below in the subsections on Health & Safety, Academics, On-Campus Living, Student Activities & Athletics, and Dining. Please check back later in the summer for information.
The Siena College COVID-19 Alert System, which communicates different stages of virus mitigation strategies depending on conditions on campus and/or in the surrounding community, will be maintained this fall.
Will the Siena community still have to wear masks and be socially distanced this fall?
It is the College’s intent to relax all physical distancing measures and move toward a mask-optional policy in all indoor settings this fall. Of course, that position requires a fully vaccinated community which underscores the need for a vaccine mandate this fall.
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 mandating the COVID vaccine to protect the health of our community, and to provide everyone with the full Siena campus experience.
Is there currently any state or federal legal mandate for people to receive the vaccine?
Not at this time, although we expect that COVID vaccination will be codified into state law as part of New York’s post-secondary education immunization regulations. A bill was introduced in the New York State Senate in May that would require the COVID-19 vaccine for all students attending any public or private college in New York.
If I haven’t yet been vaccinated, where can I get my shots?
Most counties, including Albany County in New York, are regularly holding free clinics. Please check with your county health department or family physician.
How will I show proof that I have been fully vaccinated?
Students should upload a copy of their proof of vaccination to the Siena Student Health portal, or carry a copy of their vaccination card.
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 may apply for these exemptions through Siena’s Office of Health Services. Exemptions are strictly limited to religious and medical reasons.
KEEPING OUR CAMPUS SAFE - Fall 2021