ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nazareth College and SUNY Brockport had their move-in days for students on their respective campuses Thursday. Of course, the fall semester of 2021 looks very different than last year; students are eager to get back in person and have a traditional college experience again. The catch: almost everyone has to be vaccinated.
“I am so excited! We’ve been waiting for this day all summer,” says Elizabeth Paul, President of Nazareth College.
Paul says they did everything possible to make move-in day for freshmen the safest situation possible. 97% of students are vaccinated. The remaining 3% have approved exemptions.
“Our real commitment is moving forward with these students and their educations,” she says.
Thursday at SUNY Brockport, students on campus there, also gearing up for the fall semester. John Follaco, communications with Brockport, says once the FDA approved one of the vaccines, the shot became mandatory at SUNY schools.
“I believe our students were expecting it. Many of them had been waiting for full FDA approval,” says Follaco.
For those on campus today, many are inoculated and anxious to get back.
“I really want to get back to normal because now I’m a junior and I haven’t been back to normal since my first semester, freshman year,” says student and Canandaigua native Alyssia Coluchi.
Student Rachel Flessig of Long Island has yet to get the vaccine but will get the shot shortly. “I feel it’s really important to get, I was waiting for the FDA to approve it…”
Follaco says it’s also about keeping the surrounding Brockport community safe. “So we’re hoping that this requirement will allow us to return to normalcy sooner rather than later.”
Classes at both SUNY Brockport and Nazareth College begin on August 30th.