Housing and Residential Life has announced that all Long Beach State students living on campus will be required to show proof of vaccination to reside in the dorms in fall 2021.
“The university plans to require a COVID-19 vaccine for those who choose to live in student housing as an important component in helping ensure the health and safety of our residents,” Jeff Cook, associate vice president of strategic communications, said in an email.
According to an email sent by housing officials, on-campus residents must submit proof of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by June 15.
“With a decrease in cases in our area and the progress made with vaccines, Housing and Residential Life expects to be open at approximately 85%. We will be housing students in double and triple room occupancy,” the email said.
Per the email, “space is limited,” and officials expect the waitlist will be “longer than usual” due to public health restrictions.
According to Corry Colonna, executive director of Housing and Residential Life, the university “received the go ahead” from the California State University Chancellor’s Office about two weeks ago to be able to mandate vaccines next fall for on-campus residents since housing is a “choice for students,” not required.
“We decided that this was the best option to be able to provide the services that we are proud to provide to as many of our students as possible,” Colonna said in an email. “There are already other CSU campuses who are making the same decision and in discussions with my peers in the CSU, this is likely to be required with many other of the campuses who haven’t yet made a formal decision. “
Colonna maintained that he is happy about this decision as having vaccinated residents will allow the dorms return to up to 90% occupancy, a jump from the roughly 15% seen last fall.
“It has been difficult to turn so many students away in the last year from the option to live with us. I heard some heartbreaking stories about overcrowded living conditions and difficulties studying with multiple siblings all studying remotely at the same time,” Colonna said. “We needed to keep our numbers exceptionally low to meet the guidelines provided by public health this year amidst the surges in cases and had to turn away students that I feel confident would have benefitted from living with us.”
Housing and Residential Life will be working with Student Health Services to develop a plan for students to send confirmation of their vaccination, which Colonna said “should be quite easy.”
The university has been administering vaccines on campus from the Walter Pyramid parking structure, so far to faculty and staff members and will soon be moving onto high-risk students.
As of April 5, CSULB has administered 7,963 vaccinations, both dose one and two. At this time, there are no current COVID-19 cases among faculty and staff and just one positive test from an off-campus student.
This story was updated on April 6 at 1:20 p.m. to include a quote from Jeff Cook and again on April 8 at 11:10 a.m. to include information from Corry Colonna.