August 13, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)
Over the past few weeks, and particularly the last few days, graduate students have been sharing their concerns and thoughts around the university’s plan to return to campus for Fall 2021. The perspectives have been both plenty and varying; we thank all of you for taking the time to share with us. Your voices, as always, have helped shape our decisions, our plans, and our advocacy-based efforts.
Our executive team has been involved in numerous conversations throughout the summer, many of which are still ongoing, with members across the university and broader contexts about vaccine mandates and the impacts, both positive and negative, on our members.
Yesterday, the university shared news that Brock will now require COVID-19 vaccination for students, staff, faculty to access campus. In their announcement, some of the details include the following:
- A first dose, at minimum, of a Health Canada-approved vaccine required by September 7
- A second dose required by October 15
- Anyone who cannot be vaccinated, based on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code, can request an accommodation
- Those fully vaccinated with a vaccine on the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing are deemed to have met this requirement
- All members of the Brock community returning to campus will be required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and be prepared to show proof of vaccination to the university
We appreciate that the university, as noted in their announcement, holds the health and well-being of the Brock community as top priority.
Standing alongside the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), we request that the university further considers validating all vaccines that may not fall under current Health Canada or WHO approval, ensures the greatest privacy and security for sensitive health-related information, maintain open communication about the status of vaccinations and safety protocols, and above all else, continue to prioritize the wellness and safety of all students.
We also recognize that this issue, vaccinations and mandates, is immensely complex. It is because of such complexity that we are seeking further consultation from you, our members. We want to do the best we can in representing and advocating for graduate students. From conversations, feedback, and additional research, we are aware that there may be students who are unfavourably affected by this new mandate. Your concerns deserve to be heard and considered. We are prepared to advocate for your appropriate accommodations.
To help us take further steps that reflect the needs of all our members, we ask for your feedback. Please fill this short, anonymous survey by 4PM on Friday, August 20: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8Y3DTRD
All verified participants of this survey will have the opportunity to win one of four $25 e-gift cards of your choice (some restrictions may apply).