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Some local college students de-registered over vaccine mandate


When Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it became officially mandatory for all State University of New York students by September 27. Now that that deadline has passed, some students are facing deregistration if they don’t get the first dose in the next couple of days.

At Onondaga Community College, president Casey Crabill says they’ve lost about 170 of their students due to the mandate. That’s about 3% of their student population.

“I was a little surprised at the number,” she said.

At SUNY Oswego, administrators said they’re only working with about 20 students who didn’t comply with the mandate.

Crabill said that now that nearly every college in New York, and many around the country, require the vaccine, she hopes that will encourage prospective students to get the shot.

“So I think for students who have not gotten the vaccine, they have some thinking to do about how long they want to wait or whether they want to take a different path,” she said.

A vaccine mandate has already been enforced among most private colleges since the start of the semester. Of course, there are religious and medical exemptions to that which make up a small portion of student bodies.

At Syracuse University, roughly 2% of their student population–which works out to around 420 students–are not vaccinated. At LeMoyne College, roughly 5% of their students and staff are not vaccinated due to exemptions. But interim provost, Jim Hannan, said he hopes to change that.

“We're also continuing to talk with any students who are not vaccinated about the benefits of being vaccinated as something that's beneficial to the entire campus community, to the local community, and of course, to these individuals in their families,” said Hannan.

For most schools, like LeMoyne, employee compliance has been even higher than students’.

“I think, a little over 96% for employees,” said Hannan about LeMoyne.

For SUNY schools–students who are not compliant now have until 10 days after the passed deadline to get that first dose.