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FSU Nuts & Bolts: Vaccine requirement change proposal


Dear FSU Members,

This issue of Nuts & Bolts is a little different. Today, we are sending you two Nuts & Bolts. This one is regarding the University’s proposed change to the covid vaccine requirement.  Later today you will receive the second Nuts & Bolts which is about the Healey Library

Vaccine Requirement Change

The University is proposing to remove the covid vaccine requirement on campus.  New hires would no longer be required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.  This would also mean new students would no longer be required to prove they are vaccinated to attend classes.  

My mother would ask me and my brothers if all our friends tried to run across Route 128, would you? She was trying to teach us to think independently and not be a follower.  I mention this because when campus union presidents received an email seeking our feedback on a change in covid 19 vaccine requirements, it was mentioned that Amherst, Dartmouth, and Lowell are okay with the change.   I thought of my mother and because the other UMass campuses agree, is this the best for our campus? 

The FSU Executive Committee discussed the change at our April 28th meeting.  Concerns raised included:

-  We are a commuter campus.  Over half of our campus community must travel by public transportation to get to class and work. Their commuting puts them into direct contact with a variety of people leaving them apt for covid exposure which then places all community members at risk.

- The number of desks in many classrooms is too many which means the accepted per student desk space footage is not met.  This leaves students sitting too close to each other.  

- The air movement in many classrooms is not adequate. Air circulation is a component of a healthy space.

- There are faculty and students with health issues.  The FSU remains concerned about the ableism built into the idea of removing the vaccine mandate; it puts already vulnerable members of our campus community and surrounding communities (immunocompromised people, those over fifty years old, etc.) in additional and unnecessary danger. 

-Taking any action that can place community members in harm is not prudent.

-University Health services must continue to provide vaccines and testing to the campus community.

Based on the above, the FSU Executive Committee opposes removal of the campus vaccine requirement.

We have informed UMB Labor Relations we oppose the proposed change.


Caroline Coscia                                 

FSU President                                   

Senior Lecturer II                               

Political Science Department