GVSU announces Fall 2021 campus safety plan

Carillon in the background with flowers foreground
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella informed the campus community that vaccinations will be required for all students and employees by September 30, 2021, and face coverings will be required for everyone indoors on campus beginning Monday, August 9.

The decision was made with the expectation that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will give full approval of the vaccine in September and after consultation and discussions with medical experts and campus leaders.

Mantella sent the policy update in a message to all faculty, staff, students and their parents and supporters August 6. In it, she noted the university is aligning the requirement with FDA approval to acknowledge those waiting for additional confirmation of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.

Mantella said she appreciated the leaders and members of the GVSU Faculty Senate and the work around the common goal of keeping the campus community as safe as possible given the spread of COVID and its variants.

“It is a testimony to Grand Valley’s culture that we are able to navigate managing the pandemic together, given the complexity of viewpoints and the varying circumstances of our students,” said Mantella. “The timing we have chosen allows us to support those in our community who need more information or help in accessing a vaccine, and it provides assurances that we are doing all we can to keep our campus as healthy as possible.”

Felix Ngassa, professor of chemistry and chair of the University Academic Senate (UAS) said trust within the university is key.

“I believe in our shared governance culture, which thrives because of mutual trust and understanding between the UAS and the administration,” said Ngassa. “We have a common purpose and are members of the same team, the Laker team, and so we work in collaboration in fulfillment of our mission to our students and to our Laker community. Consultative and collaborative leadership has served us well at GVSU.”

Free GVSU vaccination clinics will be held on campus, including during move-in week, August 24-26 and during the first week of classes. A virtual town hall will be held August 19 at 2 p.m.


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