USM announces COVID-19 vaccine requirement for eligible students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall

By: Grace Coughlan, Senior Editor 

Towson University (TU) President Kim Schatzel announced that TU will require all eligible students, faculty and staff who plan to be on campus in the fall to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“With this important action, we are one giant step closer to the full campus experience we all long for this fall,” Schatzel said. “This requirement will apply to those students, faculty and staff regularly on campus – including those teaching a class or taking a class on campus – prior to the start of the fall semester.” 

This decision is in accordance to the University System of Maryland (USM) vaccine requirement. USM Chancellor Jay Perman announced the decision of the requirement earlier this morning, indicating that the USM’s goal is to return to campuses in-person. 

“We want students to have these bonding opportunities,” Perman said. “We want them to have a college experience that breeds a sense of belonging. And if that’s our goal – to have students (a lot of students) safely back on campus this fall, then we have to do everything we can to protect that safety … ” 

TU has provided students, faculty and staff with vaccination resources, including partnering with the Greenbelt Metro Station vaccination site to host “University Days.” 

‘The Maryland Higher Education Commission and Maryland Department of Health have identified “University Days” at mass vaccination sites around Maryland to provide access for University System of Maryland students, faculty and staff,’ reads a statement from Provost Melanie Perrault on April 22. 

According to TU, the Greenbelt Metro Station location will be providing vaccinations to students, faculty and staff from April 23 to April 27. 

“To register for an appointment on those dates, visit massvax.maryland.gov, and enter the following passcode when prompted to enter a zip code: 27858,” a campus-wide email reads. “Then, select ‘Greenbelt Metro Station – Pfizer (Age 16 and older) – Universities’ as the vaccination site. Finally, choose an appointment date and time to register.”

Students, faculty and staff will be required to present a campus ID at their appointment. Those who are yet to obtain a campus ID, including incoming students and freshmen, can show their acceptance letters or fall registration paperwork. 

Additional information about upcoming “University Days” will be provided by the University. 

TU has encouraged the campus community to pre-register for the vaccination at a state-run mass vaccination center or by registering with the Baltimore County Health Department.

“The requirement of the vaccine for our students, faculty and staff is yet another layer of protection against the introduction and/or spread of the virus that causes COVID-19,” Schatzel said. “Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to be leaders for the public good.” 

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