Lewis & Clark to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
April 21, 2021 8:26 p.m.

Lewis & Clark College announced Wednesday that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students this fall. According to a database maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s the first institution in Oregon to set that requirement.

In an email sent to students Wednesday afternoon, the Portland private college said that all students must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption by Oct. 15. That policy does not apply to programs that are fully online.


“While we were successful in delivering hybrid instruction over the last academic year, we are eager to return to what we do best: in-person classes in a close-knit environment on one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses,” Lewis & Clark Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, Robin Holmes-Sullivan, wrote.

A photo of a beautiful pool on the campus of Lewis & Clark.

In this photo, a pool sits on the campus of Lewis & Clark.

Ryan Haas / OPB

The policy only applies to students, but Holmes-Sullivan wrote that the college has “strongly urged” all staff and faculty to also be vaccinated. Of the 58 colleges and universities the Chronicle listed in its database as requiring vaccinations for students, only six are requiring that employees show proof of having been vaccinated.

Holmes-Sullivan said Lewis & Clark staff will work directly with international students and other students abroad who may have received a vaccine that is not currently approved for use in the U.S.

“For students who find it impossible to be vaccinated prior to arrival on campus in the fall, we anticipate having vaccinations available through our Health Service,” Holmes-Sullivan said.

According to the college’s website, students will still be able to register for the fall term if they do not have proof of vaccination or an exemption by that Oct. 15 deadline, but they “may be subject to disciplinary action, registration holds for future semesters, or other requirements or restrictions necessary to support community health.”

Seattle University announced last week it will require students to prove they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.


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