News Release

Fall 2021 Student Vaccine Policy

Today the Office of the President issued the following letter:

Dear Campus Community,

As we approach the start of the Fall 2021 Semester and begin returning to more normal campus conditions, including in-classroom learning for most courses, please take a moment to review our below Student Vaccine Policy:

Healthy Campus Policy: Vaccination Strongly Encouraged

We are aligned with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and join its leaders in strongly encouraging members of our community, whose health conditions allow, to be vaccinated in order to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. In January, as soon as vaccines became available, every member of the First Presidency stepped forward to be vaccinated and shared a public statement including these comments:

Now, COVID-19 vaccines that many have worked, prayed, and fasted for are being developed, and some are being provided. 

As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization. 

Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs.”

Along with Church leaders and our senior medical advisors, we believe vaccination is the best path to protect nearly all individuals and lead to safer conditions and more typical circumstances. Therefore, our policy for Fall 2021 is to strongly encourage, but not require, students to fully vaccinate. Those not vaccinated will of course need to comply with requirements of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for non-vaccinated individuals, which currently include indoor masking and quarantining. 

Current Virginia Department of Health Requirements 

COVID-19 policies and restrictions vary from state to state. In order for our campus to open and operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we need to comply with the requirements issued by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Please take note of the current requirements from VDH for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated individuals. These could improve as vaccination rates increase in the Commonwealth and in our local and University community.

Current VDH Policy for Vaccinated Individuals

Current VDH Policy for Non-vaccinated Individuals:

For students who prefer to avoid masking and quarantining, we recommend full vaccination.

High-exposure Risk Activities: Athletics, Performing Arts, Campus Employment

Some activities, such as athletics, certain performing arts groups, and on-campus employment create an inherently higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Vaccination provides the best protection for both individuals and teams. To participate in these activities, non-vaccinated students will need to be tested and quarantine as often as exposed as a close contact. Again, for students who prefer to avoid testing, quarantining, and masking, we recommend full vaccination.

Vaccination Availability

The University’s Covid Resource Center will facilitate access to vaccination for any who have not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated prior to arriving on campus. For more information and assistance, please contact the CRC at 540-261-8414 or

Policy Enforcement: Teach & Trust, Personal Honor

To implement this student vaccination policy, we will rely on the principle of Teach and Trust. Every student is responsible, on their honor, to comply with this policy. In general, students will not be required to submit proof of full vaccination unless they: 

1) Participate in high-risk exposure activities (athletics, certain performing arts groups, and on-campus employment) or 

2) Wish to avoid the quarantine protocols required by the VDH for close contacts.

Our strong preference is to teach correct principles and trust students to learn to govern themselves. We feel this approach is consistent with our mission to be aligned with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please note that these policies are subject to change based on the evolution of the pandemic and new or additional requirements from our governing bodies, such as the VDH and NCAA.

A Refuge from the Storm

Thank you for continuing to make our campus a refuge from the pandemic storm! If you have questions about our Fall 2021 Healthy Campus Vaccine Policy, please contact our CRC at 540-261-8414 or

Office of the President

Southern Virginia University