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University of Richmond Welcomes Back Students for In-Person Learning

Student and Mom
Sunday and Wednesday were the days for Freshman students to move into their new homes for the school year. (Photo: Crixell Matthews)

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the vaccine requirement; it will only apply when the FDA gives full approval. We have updated the copy and the headline.

Despite the swampy humidity and the cloud of increasing COVID-19 cases, freshman Abby Spiller was still excited to be on campus. In between unpacking carloads of dorm-room necessities with help from her mom, she says she’ll be taking precautions, such as wearing a mask while in class.

“Whether I have to take classes in my dorm or if I’m able to go to ... the buildings or the classrooms, I’m just excited to be here and to be around other people,” she said.

College officials are requiring students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated, but the mandate only applies when the FDA gives full approval. Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are authorized under emergency approval and have not received full approval.

Abby’s mom, Haesong, says she understands why people feel vaccination is a personal choice.

“But we are doing vaccinations for not just you or your family, it’s for the whole community and the whole world,” she said. “It’s so important to get vaccinated and to protect each other and respect each other.”

University officials say they will not be offering any remote study during the academic year and they expect classes to be almost full.

New university President Kevin Hallock says he’s confident in the precautions.

“We’re expecting and planning for and ready to go on Monday to have a residential semester like pre-Covid,” Hallock said.

More than 90% of studentsand staff are fully vaccinated at the university.  A campus-wide mask policy is also in place for large, indoor public areas. And teachers can require masks in classrooms. 


Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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