Presidential Message: Vaccine Requirement

Dear Arcadia Community Members,

As many of us have come to appreciate, a fully immersed, in-person semester at Arcadia University is a gratifying educational experience. Each of us—student, faculty, staff—has a role in facilitating this experience, which can only occur with a healthy and safe University community. This is why we will not and cannot compromise on protecting our University community members. 

Information on the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant is changing rapidly. There has been an increase in the transmission of the Delta variant in our region. The neighboring City of Philadelphia has mandated vaccinations for all students, faculty, and staff at higher education institutions. In light of this increase and mandate, Arcadia has updated our interim vaccination policy and accelerated the timeline of our vaccine requirement. 

Effective immediately, Arcadia expects all University community members who do not have approved exemptions to receive their full vaccine dosage by Oct. 1, 2021. 

Public health offices anticipate the FDA to grant full approval to a COVID-19 vaccine within the next few weeks. 

All Arcadians must register their proof of vaccination.

Arcadia’s covidcareteam@arcadia.edu can provide information on where you can receive the vaccine. 

Arcadians can request an exemption for medical or religious reasons. The COVID Care Team will also respond to individuals who believe they have extenuating circumstances relevant to their vaccination status.  

All exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

We are beginning Monday, Aug. 23, with weekly testing of unvaccinated individuals, without exception.  

Unvaccinated students and employees will receive an email from COVID Care Team with a link to schedule their testing appointments.

Wearing a mask is required for all individuals inside University buildings. 

Masks are not required outdoors, but they are recommended for anyone unvaccinated and all visitors. 

With Orientation and Move-in next week, Arcadia will require entrance COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated community members and a sample testing of those who are vaccinated; the COVID Care Team will communicate details of this plan. Students and their families who are helping with move-in are required to wear masks.

Achieving a high level of immunization in our community remains the best way to provide the safest learning, living, and work experience for all. Also, the safest way to protect yourself and the community is through vaccination. We thank all of you who have submitted your vaccine records. 

Arcadia requires a response regarding your COVID immunization record or vaccine intentions from all full-time and part-time undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. We are making every effort via phone, email, and text message to contact those who have yet to respond. 

Arcadia will keep you updated in the coming days and weeks as more information becomes available. I want to express my gratitude to the Arcadia COVID-19 leadership team and committees, who continue navigating through the complexities of the past 18 months to educate, inform, and operationalize a campus environment that has remained healthy, safe, and flexible. 

I also would like to thank you for your efforts to affirm our community’s dignity, personal responsibility, and shared safety. We are looking forward to seeing you on campus next week. 

Sincerely,

Ajay Nair, Ph.D.
President

Aug. 17, 2021