The Collegian
Sunday, September 25, 2022

UR requires faculty, staff and students to receive COVID-19 vaccine; some exemptions allowed

<p>Graphic by Katherine Gillenwater</p>

Graphic by Katherine Gillenwater

The University of Richmond is requiring all students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after one of the vaccines receives full FDA approval, according to an email sent by Executive Vice President and Provost Jeffery Legro, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Hale and Vice President for Student Development Steve Bisese about fall semester opening plans on June 10. 

“A variety of factors went into the decision-making behind the University’s vaccine requirement,” Cynthia Price, associate vice president of media and public relations, wrote in an email to The Collegian on June 11. “These include substantial data regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and the fact that the vaccines are the most effective tool for returning to a more normal academic and residential experience for students.”

To meet the vaccine requirement, domestic students can receive the vaccine that is granted full FDA approval or any of the vaccines with FDA Emergency Use Authorization. International students can be vaccinated with any vaccine that is authorized by the World Health Organization, according to the email sent by Legro, Hale and Bisese. 

Currently, more than 1,700 students and 65% of faculty and staff have reported being fully vaccinated, Price wrote. The school expects more students to report being fully vaccinated before the June 30th reporting deadline, Price wrote. 

Students, faculty and staff are required to upload their vaccination status by the end of the month, according to the fall opening email. To report their vaccination status and upload their vaccination card, undergraduate students should go to their Student Health Center portal, according to the email.

Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to receive a vaccine as soon as possible even though the vaccine mandate will not go into place until a COVID-19 vaccine receives full FDA approval, according to the email sent by Legro, Hale and Bisese. 

Members of the UR community may be exempt from the vaccine mandate for religious and medical reasons, as well as strong personal convictions, according to the fall opening email. Undergraduate and law students who want to apply for an exception can do so on their Student Health Portal, according to the email sent by Legro, Hale and Bisese. MBA and SPCS students, faculty, and staff must fill out a form to apply for an exemption, according to the email sent by Legro, Hale and Bisese.

This exemption includes having strong opposition to vaccines, Price wrote.

Students who are not fully vaccinated or are exempt from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will have to wear masks where social distancing is not possible both indoors and outdoors, according to the fall opening email. 

Students, including those who reside off campus, will have to undergo arrival testing and prevalence testing if they are not fully vaccinated or did not report their vaccination status, according to the fall opening email. Students who have reported being fully vaccinated are exempt from both arrival and prevalence testing, according to the email.

To be considered fully vaccinated before arrival, students must receive the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of a one-dose vaccine at least two weeks prior to arriving on campus, according to the email. 

Students, faculty and staff who have had COVID-19 are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the email. Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo arrival and prevalence testing even if they had COVID-19, according to the fall opening email.  

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Starting June 30, students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated will be eligible for a prize drawing as part of UR's vaccine appreciation program, according to an email about vaccine reporting sent to students on June 24. Prizes will include gear from the Spider Shop, technology such as iPads, tickets to local events and dining experiences, according to the email.

Contact news writer Lauren Oligino at 

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