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Coronavirus Campus Communication 5/14/2021 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Coronavirus Campus Communication 5/14/2021 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends:

My tenure with Ramapo College, after 16 years, will conclude on June 30. What I have enjoyed most throughout that time is being with you. Whether we exchanged greetings in the hallway, convened in the Pavilion, or gathered under the Arch — being with you and being a part of the College’s tangible vibrancy has been a gift, and it is that very gift that I have missed most over the past 15 months. So it should come as no surprise that I remain committed to safely doing all we can to restore vibrancy to collegiate life at Ramapo College.

Facilitating Togetherness. After consultation with the Senior Team and the Pandemic Assessment Team, Ramapo College will require the COVID-19 vaccine for our on-campus students this fall because we must commit to being together and we must take every precaution and leverage every opportunity available to us to safely return the gift of vibrant togetherness to our campus. This means residence halls may reopen with roommates, dining options can expand, athletics and intramurals can reemerge, and student club and organization activities, as well as civic engagement and service programs, can grow.

As reflected in the low transmission rates and low incidence levels on our campus, yes, our COVID-19 testing and contact tracing strategies are working. Yes, our social distancing and de-densification strategies are working. Yes, our sanitization, face covering, and health screening strategies are working. At present, we plan to continue all of these strategies and we will strengthen them through this student vaccination requirement.

Requiring Vaccination. The American College Health Association (ACHA) advised in late April that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to foster a safe, robust on-campus experience in Fall 2021 and we have indeed been buoyed by the expanded eligibility and increased availability of vaccines in New Jersey and our neighboring states. Please be advised:

  • Our College’s immunization practices will continue to allow for religious and medical exemptions.
  • Residential and commuter students will need to show proof that they have completed the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine (second dose of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine or single dose of a 1-dose COVID-19 vaccine) by mid-August.
  • Students participating in fully remote instruction for Fall 2021, while not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at this time, will have access to the campus this fall by submitting proof that they have completed their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-August.

In summary, any student who plans to access Ramapo’s physical campus will need to show proof of full vaccination.

Enhancing Access. We recognize that, for some members of our College, access to the vaccine may be a challenge. To mitigate this challenge, Ramapo anticipates serving as a site for vaccine distribution starting in June. We anticipate announcing a series of Vaccine Clinic dates throughout the summer.

Moving Through and Forward. More details and a FAQ about the vaccine requirement (including how and when students can secure and submit proof of vaccination) are available at www.ramapo.edu/health/covid-19-vaccine/. Additional information regarding the College’s service as a vaccination site will be shared at www.ramapo.edu/health. Students, please look for a message from Vice President Christopher Romano later this month with more details on this requirement.

We will continue to move through these very strange times together just as we continue to look forward to being together again.  Please continue to take good care of yourselves and one another.

Peter P. Mercer
President

Ramapo

Ramapo College’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resources:

Other Informative Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccines:

Medical Contraindications to the COVID-19 Vaccines:

The COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnancy: