ASHLAND, Ore. — Joining a growing list of both public and private Oregon colleges, Southern Oregon University announced Thursday that it will require students and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be on campus for the fall term.
“With most of SOU’s courses returning to in-person for fall term, the implementation of a vaccination requirement is the best way to make our work and learning environment as safe as possible,” said SOU President Linda Schott.
SOU said that university administrators made the decision following conversations with both student and employee groups. Guidance from Governor Brown's office and the Oregon Health Authority also weighed into the decision, "as did the growing number of peer universities opting to require vaccinations."
“Many of our employee and student groups support requiring a vaccine in order to protect the health and safety of our university community and the communities we serve,” said Schott.
Administrators noted that more than 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. have now announced a similar vaccination requirement.
As with Oregon's other public universities, SOU will be bound by state law to allow for exemptions to the requirement.
"We recognize that there are individuals with medical or religious reasons that preclude them from getting vaccinated. SOU will honor all exceptions legally required by state or federal law be they medical, religious, or otherwise,” Schott said.