Our Full Return This Fall; The Imperative of Vaccinations

April 8, 2021

Dear Friends,

We will be back for a full CMC return this fall. 

For our students. Back to seminars, labs, and the Athenaeum; living in the dorms; eating in Collins Dining Hall or the Hub; competing and working out in Roberts Pavilion; interviewing in the Soll Center for Student Opportunity; conducting research in the institutes; leading Admission tours; and so much more.

For our faculty. Back to the classroom, workshops, conferences, committees, and restored opportunities for scholarship and all forms of intellectual engagement and academic leadership.

For our staff. Back to the office with colleagues for dynamic in-person collaborations and community building that contribute so much every day to our special residential experience. 

In sum, for all of us. Back to seeing one another in person and celebrating the CMC we all love. We are each essential to making this happen. 

The race to get back fully depends on our drive to get vaccinated. 

This is our most immediate priority.

Staff, faculty, and student employees of the College have been successfully making appointments since early March. Nationwide vaccine availability for everyone over the age of 16 is expected between now and April 19. California opens full eligibility starting April 15. The current data on the effectiveness and safety of available vaccines, even against known variants, is extremely encouraging. Recent CDC guidelines offering new protocols for vaccinated individuals and groups reflect these positive developments and give us renewed confidence.

It is now clear that a fully vaccinated community is the best way to reduce and eventually eliminate future restrictions on restoring our full in-person experience. Thus, all students enrolled this coming fall must be fully vaccinated. (The Dean of Students will be reaching out in the coming weeks with more detailed information.)

Yes, we will still require the commitment to observe reasonable behavioral health and safety practices and the flexibility to adapt to any changes in public guidelines. We also will require testing twice weekly for anyone who remains unvaccinated. We plan, as well, to have limited, infrequent, randomized community testing and sequencing to decipher any unexpected risk of resistant variants. 

In this push forward, we now need your help. Please do everything you can to get your appointments when they become available. Let us know how we can help support you obtain the vaccine. 

In the U.S., each state and county has established its own system for availability and distribution. If you live in California, consult the California Department of Public Health’s My Turn site. If you are close to campus, you can reach out to TCCS Student Health Services to learn about upcoming appointments. Also, look out for local, vaccine alert emails from CMC Human Resources. 

If you have any hesitation or concerns about taking the vaccine, please consult your physician or feel free to reach out to our CMC nurse, Shivani Lai, at shivani.lai@hamiltonhealthbox.com for confidential advice or access to additional resources. 

In the coming weeks, we will share more information on specific vaccination requirements, limited legal accommodations, guidelines, policies, and FAQs regarding our fall CMC Returns plan. If you cannot receive the vaccine for documented medical or religious reasons, please contact Nyree Gray, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Civil Rights Officer, at ngray@cmc.edu to address any accommodation requests. (Please put “VAX” in the reference line of your email.)

Finally, please complete our simple Covid-19 Vaccine Self-Reporting form to let us know when you’ve been vaccinated. We are collecting this information to evaluate and track the growing immunity in our CMC community. Once you notify us of your vaccination, the College will remove you from our weekly mandated testing requirements.

Many congratulations to all of you who have been vaccinated and thanks to those who are helping others to do the same.

Very best,