University Senate motion passed requiring vaccination or negative test for classrooms

Bobby+Peters+receives+a+vaccine+at+Oschner%27s+24-hour%2C+drive+through+Vaccine+Fest+on+March+29.

Bobby Peters receives a vaccine at Oschner’s 24-hour, drive through Vaccine Fest on March 29. The University Senate passed a motion last week to require all students to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test to enter classrooms. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Madeline Taliancich

The University Senate passed a motion last week that will require all students to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID-19 test to enter Loyola classrooms.

This comes as citywide legislation has mandated the same requirements, and Loyola’s mask and vaccination mandates have come into play with students returning to campus.  

The motion, put forth by Graduate Nursing Program Director Emily Eiswirth, cited New Orleans’ latest requirement of showing proof of vaccination or a negative test result as a reason for implementing the practice on Loyola’s campus. The motion also raised concerns over faculty acting as caregivers for vulnerable populations and those who cannot be vaccinated, particularly citing children. 

Jonathan Peterson, chair of the University Senate, stressed that the Senate is just an advisory body, providing advice to the administration on issues relevant to the university, meaning the passage of the motion does not automatically result in changes to university policy.  

Students unable to show either a vaccination or negative test will be provided with online accommodations, the motion said.

University President Tania Tetlow said the university will “seriously consider the faculty’s request.” 

Tetlow said the university thought faculty would not want to be put in the position of monitoring students as they enter classrooms but that the Senate meeting indicated that they were willing to do so.