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Vaccination is mandatory at SGU

Vice Chancellor of St. George’s University, Dr. Richard Liebowitz

The American-owned and run St. George’s University (SGU) has warned its Faculty Members and Staff that failure to get vaccinated in the next few days will result in the loss of employment.

THE NEW TODAY has obtained the copy of a letter sent by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Richard Liebowitz to “Faculty and Staff” informing them that they take the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine by June 1 in order to show up for work.

The grim warning comes against the backdrop of reports from the Grenada Ministry of Health about the low vaccination numbers in the country in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

SGU has put out a release giving details of its plans for the return of Faculty and Staff for the August 2021 term by requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all including students, administrators, vendors, and visitors to campus starting June 15.

The founder of the university, Dr. Charles Modica who is the current Chancellor is quoted as saying that the COVID-19 vaccine “is the best way to safeguard the health of our campus community and their families as well as Grenada at large.”

Modica added, “We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that we can safely return students, faculty, and staff from different parts of the world to Grenada.”

Following is the full text of the Richard Liebowitz letter to SGU Faculty and Staff:

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Please be sure to read the entirety of this important communication.

First, let me start by thanking the hundreds of faculty, staff, and students who attended the past Vaccination Days on campus. I am proud of your resilience and how you have all worked together to develop and follow various regulations to promote the health and safety of our SGU community. You have heard of the importance of vaccination from Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica and President Dr. G. Richard Olds, as well as many public health experts. Each has shared the strong evidence of the vaccines’ effectiveness and safety and a plea to all that vaccines are the most effective way to safeguard your health, our campus community, your families, and the Grenadian people. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Return to Campus
Starting June 15, 2021, vaccinations will be required for all persons on campus. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

By June 15, all staff are required to return to work on campus to prepare for a smooth start to in-person learning and support services for students returning to campus. The University will return to normal operations except for face masks/coverings remaining mandatory and increased sanitization of all areas. For some faculty, the return-to-campus date may vary based on academic schedules.

Vaccination Requirements
As part of our plan for a safe return to campus, all students, faculty, staff, administrators, vendors, and visitors on campus must adhere to the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements:

We recommend all students, faculty, staff, and administrators be vaccinated (at least the first dose) no later than June 1.

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All staff are required to return to work on campus by June 15 and demonstrate proof of vaccination (first dose). Details on how to provide proof of vaccination and information on new ID issuance will be provided in a follow-up communication.

Staff who are unable to demonstrate proof of vaccination (first dose) will not be allowed on campus, which will result in leave with no pay as of June 15.

Faculty will also be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination (first dose) prior to entering campus. Your dean will communicate your specific return-to-campus date. Faculty who are required to come on campus and who are not vaccinated will be placed on leave with no pay at that time.

For staff and faculty receiving vaccinations that require two doses, we will announce in the coming weeks dates by which the second dose must be received to complete full vaccination in order to remain on campus.

We want to make the vaccination process as easy and convenient as possible. St. George’s University will continue to partner with the Ministry of Health to host Vaccination Days on campus every Friday in the month of May from 8am to 10am in Open Modica Hall for all students, faculty, and staff in Grenada. The AstraZeneca vaccine will be provided by the Ministry, and it is free of charge for everyone. We anticipate announcing additional Vaccination Day events on campus and convenient locations elsewhere in the near future.

We value every member of our SGU community—from the newest to the longest-serving members—whose contributions to the success of our students have been invaluable. The decision to require vaccinations to be on campus has been made with the safety of our students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the Grenadian community as our highest priority.

While we have continued to maintain pay for all faculty and staff over the past 14 months regardless of work requirements and location, including salary increases and bonuses, we cannot continue to do this for those who do not return to work. We do not want to stop pay for any staff or faculty members, but we cannot return to safe operations on campus without everyone being vaccinated. These policies are also consistent with the actions of other major universities around the world in response to the global pandemic.

Grenada’s Ministry of Health has set the goal of having 80 percent of the adult population in Grenada vaccinated, and we need to do our part to create a safe campus environment as we begin welcoming back SGU students, faculty, and staff from various parts of the world.

Please refer to the faculty and staff FAQs for additional information. If you have any questions or concerns, we strongly advise you to contact [email protected] or your HR representative to access the support and information available to you. Thank you for your commitment to SGU.

Sincerely,

Richard Liebowitz, MD
Vice Chancellor
St. George’s University