Xavier University is disenrolling students who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. The private Catholic HBCU in Louisiana will begin the process at the end of this week, Fox 8 reported.
“I think it’s unfair to unenroll them because they still need their education. But I can see both sides,” sophomore Elise Tookes told the outlet. “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.”
In April, the university’s president Reynold Verret sent students a letter stating proof of vaccination would be required to attend the fall semester.
“Your vigilance during this past year has allowed Xavier to open its doors and remain open by keeping our COVID- 19 infection rates very low,” the letter stated. “To continue our shared commitment to each other, we are requiring that all students receive their Coronavirus vaccines before returning for the Fall 2021 semester. Proof of vaccination will be required for all students planning to attend this fall.”
Students may be exempt from the vaccination for medical and/or religious reasons.
“If they [students] 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,” Patrice Bell, vice president of administration and the chief of staff, 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.”
For students and staff who qualify for medical or religious exemptions, they’ll be required to submit two weekly COVID-19 tests. Khalif Brown, a student at Xavier, qualifies to be exempt and feels getting an education shouldn’t be dependent on the vaccine.
“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.
Xavier is one of 773 colleges that are requiring students to get the vaccine. The school said that students who are unable to attend in the fall would hopefully attend 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,” Bell said.
According to reports, the student body, which is currently at 3,400, has nearly reached full compliance.