SUNY schools implement vaccine mandate; officials prepare to de-register students

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CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) — The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for SUNY students went into effect on Sep. 27. While most students are in compliance, those who choose to remain unvaccinated will be de-registered by Oct. 8.

Dr. Bill Mullaney, President for SUNY Corning Community College, said as of Oct 1., 96% of in-person students are in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. These students are either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or exempted due to religious reasons. However, it has been a struggle to get into contact with the remaining 4%.

“The remaining students, which total about 42, we’re still reaching out to,” said Dr. Mullaney. “Some of them have indicated to us that they are not going to get vaccinated and others haven’t been responding to any of our communications.”

Dr. Mullaney said they have another week to be in accordance with the Chancellor’s mandate. On Oct. 8, the admission staff will begin the de-registration process. Students who are de-registered will not be able to get a refund for their tuition as it is past the refund date.

“It’s really been a communication campaign,” said Dr. Mullaney. “I imagine that [those] 42 students will go down even further over the course of the week.”

Overall, Dr. Mullaney said he is pleased with the student’s response to the mandate. He is considering 96% vaccinated, a success in his book.

A student forum at CCC was held to allow people to raise their concerns.

“What I heard at the forum was ‘I’m young and healthy, why do I need to take this vaccine?’,” said Dr. Mullaney. “What we try to explain is this is not a Corning Community College mandate, but a statewide SUNY mandate.”

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