President Delgado Marks the Start of Lehman’s Fall ’21 Semester
Dear Lehman Colleagues,
Welcome to the first day of the academic year at Lehman and the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
Like me, many of you have been looking forward to this day for a long time. Today marks the beginning of what we hope will be a transition back toward greater normalcy but also the beginning of many students’ educational experience and the continuation of others who have persevered through an unprecedented period at Lehman.
As we continue to have an increasingly in person presence on campus, you have likely seen – via email or social media – a number of updates regarding the vaccination policy and testing protocol for those who are not vaccinated. For the most up to date information on CUNY policy, you should refer to the Chancellor’s latest letter to students posted here: https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/university-updates/urgent-info-on-testing-masks-fda-approval/
Lehman has a lot of information as well that mirrors what you will find there, which is posted on our COVID-19 information page accessible from the homepage. As with everything that has shifted in the midst of the pandemic, particularly in light of the Delta variant, all of the processes in place to keep everyone as safe as possible require a lot of patience. We direct to the homepage because as circumstances change we will update that page (along with sending along periodic email updates).
As of this writing, I also want to reiterate something I shared earlier in the summer, which is that former Governor Andrew Cuomo rescinded orders governing the remote gathering of Lehman College Senate, which means that our first Senate meeting of the year, next Wednesday, September 1st, will be held in person. More guidance will be forthcoming, but we have reserved the Lovinger Theater and the East Dining Room to allow for social distancing.
I want to echo some of the sentiments in the Chancellor’s letter in case you missed it.
- Accessing campus requires an upload of proof of vaccination to CUNYfirst or a weekly negative COVID-19 test. Anyone entering a CUNY facility for any reason needs to be fully vaccinated – meaning 14 days beyond the last vaccination shot – or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days at CUNY site. Moreover, there will be academic consequences for any student taking in-person or hybrid classes who does not upload proof of vaccination within 45 days of full FDA approval of a vaccine. At present, and as a result of the FDA’s actions on Monday, you have until September 27 to upload proof of vaccination. Here is a list of helpful dates to keep in mind in light of the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
- Upload Proof of Vaccination - Most CUNY students are already vaccinated and I want to emphasize how important it is to get vaccinated as the best available defense against COVID-19 and its variants. Vaccinated students must upload proof of vaccination to CUNYfirst and allow two weeks for the documents to get submitted and approved. Proof of vaccination will facilitate access to a campus throughout the Fall, and will also exempt vaccinated individuals from participation in the weekly testing program. For a guide to submitting your information to CUNYfirst, click here.
- Everbridge VaxPass - The symptom tracking feature of the Everbridge app is no longer being used; instead the app now displays a CUNY VaxPass for those whose vaccine information has been submitted and approved in CUNYfirst. The VaxPass was designed as an additional tool to speed entry into CUNY campuses and offices. For simple, one-time setup instructions, please check the VaxPass User Setup Guide
- Sports - The CUNY Athletic Conference was pleased to announce the return to a regular schedule of athletic competition for the 2021-22 academic year. Full vaccination is required to participate in any sport in the CUNYAC and also to move into a dorm.
- Helpful Links - For general frequently asked questions, please refer to the Getting Back to Learning on Campus FAQ. If you still have questions, please contact Lehman College Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) liaisons: Dugeidy Ortiz, Director of the Wellness Education and Health Promotion Program at firstname.lastname@example.org Ashmini Hiralall, College Prevention Coordinator, Wellness Education and Health Promotion Program at Ashmini.Hiralall@lehman.cuny.edu.
These health and safety guidelines continue to evolve and they are crucial to a safe, successful reopening this fall. Thank you in advance for doing your part and following the guidelines we’ve established. Please also know that we continue to work closely with city and state health officials to monitor the impact of the Delta and other variants on COVID-19 transmission rates and will modify our guidance as needed.
In order to get to this start and a return to campus, numerous offices and dedicated staff have worked diligently to create a safe, welcoming, and prepared campus. Lehman personnel from so many units—public safety officers, custodians, maintenance and grounds staff, those working in the various trades, central plant, laborers, IT staff, administrators from each division, and academic and support staff who been diligently working (on and off campus) to allow for a safe and increased in-person presence at Lehman. Likewise, faculty have kept research labs open, flipped classrooms, and participated in a range of professional development training programs to create flexibility in our teaching modalities. While most students have been away, Lehman staff and faculty have continued to adjust to the demands created by COVID and to assuring as smooth a transition as possible back to campus.
I wish you a strong start to the beginning of the academic year and I look forward to seeing you on campus at some point soon.