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Xavier University tells students who aren’t fully vaccinated they’re no longer enrolled

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:31 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In an effort to have classes as normal as possible, Xavier University leaders are telling unvaccinated students they can’t attend fall classes. The Vice President of Administration and the Chief of Staff Patrice Bell says unvaccinated students are getting notifications this week, “they will be notified that they do not have health clearance and that they will not be able to join us the effective end of this week,” Bell said.

“I think it’s unfair to unenroll them because they still need their education. But I can see both sides,” said sophomore Elise Tookes. “They’re trying to protect the students that they have on campus and they’re trying to make it normal for us as much as possible.”

“I feel like that in itself is crazy,” said fourth-year Kalif Brown.

The university issued the mandate this summer alerting students and staff before the start of classes. In an April letter to the university, President Reynold Verret writes officials are updating immunization requirements to include COVID-19 vaccines, “this health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students planning to attend in the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated unless granted a limited exception for documented medical or religious reasons. Vaccine,” Verret writes in the letter.

Referring to the April letter, Bell says this policy is the same way they handle other shots and vaccines required for students, like tetanus.

“If they are able to provide the documentation or work with us to get through the vaccine protocols prior to that time then we will be able to make some accommodations,” Bell said. “Otherwise just like any other vaccine that is required across the nation at any other university, you will not be able to join us for the fall of 2021.”

There are students like Kalif Brown who qualify for a medical or religious exemption. These students and staff members have to submit to two weekly COVID-19 testings.

“I don’t feel like it should be something I’m forced or my future which is college should be in jeopardy because of the choice I make to or not to get vaccinated,” Brown said.

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Bell says they are working with students who can’t enroll in the fall to have them join in the spring.

“We feel it’s very important that we set the standard, not just for our little community at 1 Drexel Drive at Xavier University, but those neighboring communities in the city, the state, and the country,” said Bell. Bell says as of Wednesday (August 25) they do not know how many students will be disenrolled.

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