Local colleges not requiring vaccinations for students

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Students at the two schools will not be required to be vaccinated, however, there are some exceptions. For example at MCC, if you’re one of the 635 students planning to live in campus housing, you will need to be fully vaccinated.

"For residents who live on-campus, at the dorm or resident halls, I believe it is required that they all are fully vaccinated," said James Romanowski, an adult student at MCC who works as a peer navigator on-campus.

Everywhere else on MCC’s campus will be open to everyone regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated people will need to participate in regular testing and masks will be required for all people in certain locations regardless of vaccination status.

"We will be doing pool testing on a weekly basis,” said John Delate, associate vice president of student services at MCC. “In the classroom, though, for everyone’s benefit we will have masking. And then in the hallways, you know, you try to maintain social distancing."

Romanowski says he’s okay with his school’s policies going into the fall semester.

"I feel comfortable being at the school with the policies they have in place, and if students chose not to, I personally am still comfortable," said Romanowski.

At Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, the decision not to require the vaccine was largely based on how many people already got it.

"We’re fortunate that we’re at 96% right now for faculty and staff that are reporting having been vaccinated,” said Robb Flowers, vice president of campus life at Hobart. “We are above 90% for students who are reporting having been vaccinated."

There is one circumstance at Hobart in which the vaccine will be required for students: traveling on behalf of the school.

"If students want to participate in varsity athletics or in intramural athletics,” said Flowers, “for those who travel, we’re saying that you must be vaccinated."

Hobart will not be asking students to show proof of vaccination, however, MCC students will be asked to verify that they have been fully vaccinated by contacting their Health Services office.

Both schools are encouraging students to make choices about getting the vaccine that are right for them personally. Hobart will hold Pfizer vaccine clinics for its campus community on August 16, September 7 and 27 from 1-5 p.m.

MCC hosts a Monroe County-run vaccine clinic that is open to the public at its downtown campus on State Street. It’s open from 2-7 p.m. every weekday. Learn more here.