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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

The New New Normal

A+student+gets+tested+for+coronavirus+on+campus.+As+part+of+Wofford%E2%80%99s+plan+to+return+to+normalcy+this+fall%2C+students+have+been+tested+weekly+as+administration+has+developed+vaccination+guidelines.+Photo+courtesy+of+Mark+Olencki.
A student gets tested for coronavirus on campus. As part of Wofford’s plan to return to normalcy this fall, students have been tested weekly as administration has developed vaccination guidelines. Photo courtesy of Mark Olencki.

What do vaccines mean for the Wofford community?

Nayef Samhat, president of the college, sent an email on Apr. 22 stating that Wofford College plans to return to normalcy in the fall 2021 semester. For many students, this would create their first full year of normal instruction at Wofford. First and second year students were both unable to experience a typical freshman year, due to COVID-19. 

Returning to normal sounds almost impossible given how we have adapted to the “new normal.” However, Samhat gave strict instruction on how this return to normalcy can occur: vaccinations and trusting in science. This normalcy would include a mask-free and non-socially distanced environment. 

When considering whether to allow vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors on campus, however, President Samhat said that it is “a tactical level question that probably requires further conversation to develop guidelines.”

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Samhat stated that he received the Pfizer vaccine and Mrs. Samhat has received Moderna. Because of this, he has said that he has high confidence in both vaccines, offering Pfizer on campus for the Wofford community. 

Herd immunity would have to be met in order for there to be a return to normalcy, and Wofford College continues to  provide resources to ensure this. 

All students who have already received one or both of their vaccines are to upload it to their Student Wellness Portal. Getting to 80% of the community is the only way that Wofford will be able to return to normal.

“If we come to, say, during the course of the summer, and we’re finding that students are not getting the vaccine, or faculty and staff, then I think we’ll insist. Now, it’s worth noting that vaccines are normally required…, so this would be just one more vaccine,” he said. 

There was initial hesitation with this decision, according to Samhat, because “our plan was to provide it on campus… so we, as other similar organizations…, held back until the public access was secured.”

As of Apr. 26, around 800 of the Wofford community’s 2,000+ members have been partially or fully vaccinated. According to the Wellness Center survey sent out this past week, with a little under 400 participants, there is a fair amount of hesitation with getting the vaccine because of the ability to trust the Center for Disease Control, Wellness Center, and healthcare professionals.

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Brandi Wylie, Editor-In-Chief
Education Major from Spartanburg, SC
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