Hudson Valley Community College is allowing students to return to campus unvaccinated this fall despite a vaccine mandate set by the State University of New York system and required of all institutions in the system, the Times Union reported.
“Vaccination does not prevent infection or transmission of the virus,” Louis Coplin, the college’s vice president of student affairs, wrote to the Times Union. “As one example, U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden have recently become infected after being vaccinated and boosted.”
Coplin argued that a New York State executive order requiring student vaccinations expired in spring 2022. He also noted the college doesn’t have dormitories, and K-12 students are not required to get vaccines.
The majority, 85 percent, of Hudson Valley Community College students submitted proof of vaccination ahead of the fall, he said. But “we have heard from many prospective and current students who are concerned that mandated COVID vaccination, at this point in the pandemic, imposes an undue burden on their ability to advance their education and pursue careers, after more than two years of enduring the pandemic.”
The college’s faculty association president, Robert Whitaker, called the decision “reckless and short-sighted.”
A SUNY spokesperson, Holly Liapis, told the Times Union that the systemwide vaccine mandate remains in place and that “SUNY is in communication with Hudson Valley Community College about their policy to ensure all students, faculty, and staff are protected.”