COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
Office of Student Life and Enrollment Management, Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Office of Human Resources, Office of Emergency Management
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Utica College COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
Utica College (“UC” or the “College”) is committed to the safety and protection of our entire College community. Therefore, it is College policy that all members of the Utica College community submit confirmation that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to first returning to campus at or after the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. The only exceptions to this policy will be for those who have an approved accommodation on medical or religious grounds, providing for an accommodation from the vaccine requirement.
REASON FOR POLICY:
This policy is being implemented to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among our community. Requiring all students, faculty, and staff to submit proof of full vaccination prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, or if later prior to returning to campus, is the best way to protect everyone’s health and to be able to resume normal Utica College activities while minimizing or eliminating the need for measures such as masking and distancing. This includes having classrooms with normal capacity and access to cultural and social events, residence life activities, athletics and recreational activities, in-person meetings, and more.
This policy covers all faculty, staff, and students who are learning, living, and/or working at facilities owned or operated by Utica College in the state of New York.
Providing Proof of Vaccination
All Utica College students, faculty, and staff who do not have an approved medical or religious accommodation on file must provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to coming onto campus for the Fall 2021 Semester for any reason, including but not limited to moving into a residence hall, attending classes, for any employment purposes, participating in Utica College-related activities, and/or entering any campus building. An authorized COVID-19 vaccine is any vaccine approved by the FDA or authorized by the FDA for emergency use in the U.S. (currently Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson), or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
Students, faculty, and staff are considered fully vaccinated:
- two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or
- two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Acceptable forms of documentation include:
- a completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or other official documentation authorized by a governmental authority of competent jurisdiction; or
- medical records signed by a licensed health care provider indicating vaccine name and dates of administration.
Students may upload proof of vaccination to their student health portal by accessing https://utica.studenthealthportal.com/Account/Logon?ReturnUrl=%2f
Faculty and staff may provide proof of vaccination to the Office of Human Resources (via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by delivering in person to Addison Miller White Hall 124).
This policy is subject to change based on factors such as the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance from local, state and federal agencies, and changes in applicable law. All changes will be promptly communicated to the Utica College community.
Students, faculty or staff may be accommodated, including possibly exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination record requirement, for medical or religious reasons as described below.
Students, faculty, and staff must submit a written request for medical or religious accommodation. The Student Health and Wellness Center will coordinate the medical and religious accommodation review process for students. The Office of Human Resources will coordinate the medical and religious accommodation review process for faculty and staff. The College will evaluate all requests in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, College policy and applicable law.
To request a medical accommodation, students, faculty, and staff must complete a Request for Medical Accommodation Form, signed by a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner with whom the student, faculty or staff member has a current professional relationship. Students will submit the form to the Student Health and Wellness Center. Faculty and staff will submit the form to the Office of Human Resources.
To request a religious accommodation, students, faculty, and staff must submit a Request for Religious Accommodation Form demonstrating that the student, faculty, or staff member holds a genuine and sincere religious belief which is contrary to immunization. A general philosophical or moral objection to vaccination shall not suffice as the basis for accommodations on religious grounds. Utica College reserves the right to request supporting documentation. Students will submit the form to the Student Health Center. Faculty and staff will submit the form to the Office of Human Resources.
Utica College will provide reasonable accommodations to students, faculty, and staff who are unable to receive the vaccine for religious or medical reasons, provided they do not create an undue hardship for the College and do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on campus. Remote work or learning opportunities will not necessarily be available as an accommodation.
Students, faculty, and staff who have an approved medical or religious accommodation may participate fully in campus activities (i.e., classes, events, athletics, residence life activities, etc.), but must abide by the following health and safety precautions:
- submit a negative COVID-19 test result before arrival to campus for the Fall 2021 semester;
- complete the daily health screen until otherwise directed;
- comply with CDC recommendations on mask wearing as set forth by Utica College’s Office of Emergency Management; and
- quarantine if they test positive or become exposed to COVID-19 (students will be unable to quarantine on campus)
Students, faculty, and staff with an approved medical or religious accommodation must also be aware that Utica College’s intent is to return to pre-COVID operations, which means predominantly full, in-person classes for classes normally taught in person. Many courses and degree requirements cannot be fulfilled via remote learning options (examples: experiential rotations, some laboratory learning, etc.). The inability to take these classes in person may result in a graduation delay.
Likewise, for faculty and staff, depending on job responsibilities the ability to work remotely may not be available. Utica College reserves the right to deny remote work or learning as an accommodation if other accommodations are available and effective or for any lawful reasons.
Denial of Accommodations and Refusal to Comply
Students, faculty, and staff whose requests for medical or religious accommodations were denied will be informed in writing by the appropriate party. Those who have been informed of denial and who refuse to comply with this COVID-19 policy may be denied access to campus and/or subject to disciplinary action.
Students who are denied and/or refuse to comply will, per Utica College’s Immunization Policy, have their registration cancelled or suspended. Faculty who are denied and/or refuse to comply will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between Utica College and AAUP. Staff who are denied and/or refuse to comply will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Utica College Employee Handbook.
Paid Leave for Vaccinations
New York State law currently provides employees up to four (4) hours of paid leave per COVID-19 vaccine injection for their own receipt of the vaccine during their normal work hours. This will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay. This is additional paid time off and has no impact on another accrued time off.
Employees are required to:
- provide their supervisor with a scheduled date/time of vaccination(s), when possible at least 24 hours in advance;
- note on their time record that this is excused time off for COVID-19 vaccination along with the number of hours taken off; and
- submit proof of vaccination to the Office of Human Resources as described earlier in this policy (no other medical information is required at that time).
It is the responsibility of the Dean of Students (with support and input from others as deemed necessary or appropriate) to uphold the requirements of this policy for students. It is the responsibility of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice for Human Resources and Personnel Development (with support and input from others as deemed necessary or appropriate) to uphold this policy for faculty. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Human Resources and Personnel Development (with support and input from others as deemed necessary or appropriate) to uphold this policy for staff. The Senior Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment Management, the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, the Vice President for Emergency Management, and the Vice President for Human Resources and Personnel Development are responsible for reviewing this policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is current and in keeping with applicable federal and state law.
Enforcement of Utica College policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the "Responsibility" section of this policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding students, faculty or staff members
Utica College acknowledges that College policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The College therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the College (i.e., President, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment Management, Vice President for Financial Affairs, or Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel).
- Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Senior Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment Management
- Vice President for Emergency Management
- Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
- Vice President for Human Resources and Personnel Development
- Dean of Students
Please note that other Utica College policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.
June 25, 2021
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