Vaccine required for SLU staffers

The sun sets on the St. Lawrence University campus Wednesday. Students return today and the first day of classes is Wednesday. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — St. Lawrence University is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new policy was shared with university employees on Thursday in an email from St. Lawrence’s senior staff members.

“Implementing a vaccine requirement for employees has been a difficult decision, and we recognize that there are many perspectives on the issue,” the email to employees said. “However, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our community against COVID-19. With the number of cases increasing rapidly across the country and the much more contagious delta variant, this requirement prioritizes the health and safety of our community. Earlier this week, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York has also recommended all college and university campuses to strongly consider a mandatory vaccination program for all in-person students, faculty, and staff.”

The university’s senior staff members sent a message to employees on Aug. 9, making them aware that a vaccination policy was under consideration. Employees were able to submit feedback anonymously and attend open Q & A sessions.

“We appreciated the engagement of our employees in this process and the hundreds of pieces of feedback that we received and reviewed as we carefully considered this new policy,” Thursday’s message said. “While we did hear concerns and opposition to the proposed policy, the overall response was in support by a significant margin. Furthermore, the concerns and opposition did not outweigh the concerns for the safety of our community.”

The final policy is posted on the university’s website and employees will need to show proof of vaccination by Sept. 29.

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