NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.- Westminster's faculty has approved a non-binding resolution asking College leadership to require COVID-19 vaccination for everyone on campus. That includes students, faculty and staff. Currently vaccinations are not mandated by the institution, but strongly encouraged.
"The faculty of Westminster College calls on the Board of Trustees to immediately institute a mandatory SARS-CoV-2 vaccination requirement for all Westminster College faculty, staff and students with appropriate/ documented medical exceptions only."
Faculty voted and passed the resolution during a special meeting on Thursday. The vote was not unanimous.
Faculty proposed the resolution to maximize safety and minimize risk in the Westminster community. Some faculty members remain weary of in-person instruction with unvaccinated students due to personal or family health concerns. Many observe improper mask usage on the students’ behalf, which they fear increases risk for those vaccinated and unvaccinated.
“Westminster’s sense of community is essential to our identity," said Helen Boylan Funari, Ph.D., Chair of Faculty and Professor of Chemistry. "The faculty recognize that the best way to keep our community safe is to maximize the vaccination rate and to keep wearing masks when indoors. By passing the resolution, the faculty has communicated just how important we think vaccination is.”
President Richardson told The Holcad that the Board leadership will discuss the proposal in the upcoming days.
Westminster strongly encourages all community members to get vaccinated. Student Affairs and the Wellness Center are holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Tuesday, September 21.
The College tracks data on student and employee vaccination. Student Affairs shares that, as of September 17, 71% of students and 86% of employees are reported vaccinated. Students and employees can upload their vaccination record on the Wellness Center Health Portal.
The Holcad is actively working to gather reactions and comments from the administration, students, and employees.