by Linda Straker
- SGU School of Arts and Sciences students to protest on Friday, 23 April
- Same day as SGU Vaccination Day in partnership with Ministry of Health
- On-campus in-person classes return for August 2021 semester
- SGU statement confirmed online learning alternative
School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) students at St George’s University (SGU) are planning a protest at the main entrance of the campus, to formally object to the University’s decision that all students, faculty, staff and vendors must be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine to be on the compound as it prepares for reopening the campus for in-person classes in August.
Scheduled for Friday, 23 April, the protest is on the same day that the University has designated as Vaccination Day. “Objectives: Right to choose to be vaccinated; Choice of continued online studies; Involvement in decision making as it relates to returning to campus,” read the flyers informing students about the protest which will be a mix of silence and sporadic chants from 9 to 10 am.
A letter sent from Richard Liebowitz MD, Vice-Chancellor to the SGU community, explained that Vaccination Day is in partnership with the Ministry of Health. “Vaccines are the most effective way to safeguard the health of our campus community, our families, and the community at large. It is important that our university community gets vaccinated to help ensure a safe return to normal campus life.”
Vaccination Day will be from 9 am to 2 pm for all faculty, staff, and students in Grenada. AstraZeneca vaccines will be provided by the Ministry, and it is free of charge for everyone.
On 15 April, the University announced that its campus will be reopening for in-person classes for the August 2021 semester for all students in the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Graduate Studies.
The statement confirming the reopening explained that the leadership of SGU considered all aspects of a safe return, placing the health and safety of students, faculty and staff on campus, and that of the Grenada community as a priority.
“As part of our plan for a safe return to campus life, Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty, staff, and administrators, vendors and visitors on campus. Many universities around the world are requiring Covid-19 vaccination as part of their return strategies for the Fall term,” read the statement.
“Although our goal is to return all students to in-person learning as quickly as possible, we will be reasonable in our consideration of exceptions to in-person education and use of online education for the August 2021 term.” The statement confirmed an alternative to attending classes will be the continuation of online learning.
The Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) which is the trade union representing the workers is yet to issue a statement about the mandatory vaccination for staff. Telephone calls to President General Andre Lewis went unanswered.
Grenada began its Covid-19 vaccination programme on 12 February. As of 21 April, the first dose of the vaccine has been received by 11,689 people.
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