CMC To Make Full Return In Fall, Require Vaccination For All Students

In an email sent earlier this morning, Claremont McKenna College (CMC) President Hiram E. Chodosh informed students, staff, and faculty that they “will be back for a full CMC return this fall.” Chodosh also confirmed that “all students enrolled this coming fall must be fully vaccinated,” a move that CMC has been considering since at least March 31.

According to the email, students will go “[b]ack to seminars, labs, and the Athenaeum; living in the dorms; eating in Collins Dining Hall or the Hub; competing and working out in Roberts Pavilion; interviewing in the Soll Center for Student Opportunity; conducting research in the institutes; leading Admission tours; and so much more.”

Despite its optimistic pronouncement, Chodosh clarified that CMC “will still require the commitment to observe reasonable behavioral health and safety practices and the flexibility to adapt to any changes in public guidelines. [The college] also will require testing twice weekly for anyone who remains unvaccinated. [CMC] plan[s], as well, to have limited, infrequent, randomized community testing and sequencing to decipher any unexpected risk of resistant variants.” The college did not clarify whether or not it would require students to wear masks, as it had previously considered doing. 

The email emphasized that “[t]he race to get back fully depends on our drive to get vaccinated,” describing vaccination as its “most immediate priority.” Citing recent CDC data, CMC assured students that “the effectiveness and safety of available vaccines, even against known variants, is extremely encouraging.” According to the email:

“It is now clear that a fully vaccinated community is the best way to reduce and eventually eliminate future restrictions on restoring our full in-person experience. Thus, all students enrolled this coming fall must be fully vaccinated. (The Dean of Students will be reaching out in the coming weeks with more detailed information.)”

The email also stated that students who cannot receive the vaccine “for documented medical or religious reasons” can contact the college’s Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Civil Rights Officer “to address any accommodation requests.”

To support a full return to campus, Chodosh urged students to “do everything [they] can to get [their] appointments when they become available.” The college also asked them to let it know “how [it] can help support [them to] obtain the vaccine.”

As part of CMC’s commitment to its vaccination campaign, Chodosh stated that “[i]f you are close to campus, you can reach out to TCCS Student Health Services to learn about upcoming appointments.” 

In his final appeal, Chodosh asked that students and faculty “complete our simple Covid-19 Vaccine Self-Reporting form to let us know when you’ve been vaccinated. We are collecting this information to evaluate and track the growing immunity in our CMC community. Once you notify us of your vaccination, the College will remove you from our weekly mandated testing requirements.” CMC released its self-reporting form earlier this year.

Chodosh indicated that the college would provide more detailed updates on the return in the coming weeks.

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