Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is offering insight on its decision to require staff and students to be vaccinated for in-person classes.
"In-person courses will not be made available online, so if someone’s unvaccinated on the first day of classes (Sept. 8) for an in-person course, they cannot take that particular course during the fall semester," says Charlie Peronto, the Dean of Student Life at CMU.
In the 2020/2021 academic year, CMU had a mix of in-person and online classes as provincial guidelines changed. This school year, students are required to be fully vaccinated and show proof before they can attend in-person classes, and will also need to wear a mask.
"About 90 per cent of our classes will take place in-person on our campus."
The requirement to be fully vaccinated is the school's choice as the government of Manitoba is not mandating vaccine or mask requirements for educational institutions. The school isn't alone in its stance, as the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Red River College, Canadian Mennonite University, Assiniboine Community College and the University College of the North have all announced that students must be fully vaccinated. Providence University College and Theological Seminary says it is strongly recommending double vaccinations for all and will be requiring masks and social distancing.
"We've wrestled with the decision because we want to be as safe and open as a campus as possible. A place for people of all different backgrounds to come together and join in education together," says Peronto.
He reiterated the university wants to provide the safest atmosphere for students and staff possible. If someone is medically unable to get the vaccine, the university will make an exception.
"We see this as an opportunity for conversation. We would love to have this continue to open up dialogue. We've been talking to families who have questions about our recent decision. Anyone can contact me directly," says Peronto.
People with questions can phone Peronto at 204.487.3300 ext. 327 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org