LINDSBORG -- Bethany College students and employees are expected to be vaccinated for the coronavirus for the fall semester.
"As a small residential campus, we thrive on face to face interaction and relationships that are integral to the community. Community is a core value we already embrace at Bethany so being mindful of those vulnerable in our campus community and of our impact on our larger Lindsborg community is expected. As such, this past week, Bethany College expressed an expectation that students and employees put the core value of community above all else and obtain the vaccination," Bethany College noted in a COVID-19 update email blast.
"We acknowledge this is a sensitive, private and for some a contentious issue. Because we expect, but will not require, the vaccine to be acquired, we have asked our employees and students to confidentially share their vaccination status so we can align health protocol with campus vaccination rates," the update continued.
Following is a message Bethany President Elizabeth Mauch sent to employees via email on July 1.
Dear Campus Community
At Bethany we believe in the power of community. This means we are committed to personal and social responsibility, we care deeply for one another, and we seek to offer care and grace to all who enter our community to learn. We look forward to being able to open campus in ways not possible during the heights of the pandemic last year, but ask for your continued commitment to community, personal and social responsibility.
It is our expectation that everyone on campus will be vaccinated for COVID-19. However, exceptions will be provided. If we reach 70-80% vaccination rates, our faculty, staff, and students will have very few restrictions and we will be able to return to a new normal. If you are not already vaccinated and do not have a medical exception, please consider getting vaccinated to protect everyone in our wonderful Swede community. Because we acknowledge students may not have had access or opportunity, we are working to make the vaccine available on campus for a limited time upon their return. We are preparing to provide incentives for vaccinated students in the form of raffles or direct cash payments. More details to follow on a final incentive structure.
To help us plan for the most appropriate protocol per CDC guidelines for the safety of the entire campus community, we are requesting everyone’s vaccination status. Students have been asked to update their vaccine status through eSwede, and Human Resources will be sending a vaccination status inquiry to all employees in the next week. Please provide a timely and confidential response. We want to have a great year together, and we know that you want to help in that endeavor.
Please note that any unvaccinated person will be expected to follow all CDC and KDHE recommendations this fall. Bethany COVID policies will be updated to reflect these recommendations and shared by campus email no later than August 2, 2021. Protocol for unvaccinated individuals will include but not be limited to masking, self-isolation after potential exposure, and limited access to the cafeteria.