Due to a technical issue, two emails sent on June 29 and 30 were not sent directly to all undergraduate students. The first email, regarding COVID-19 vaccination updates, was resent on July 1 with updated information. The second email, regarding the College’s Anti-Racism Initiative, will be resent soon. Both original emails can also be viewed by students by navigating to Google Groups, clicking on “undergrad_all” and then viewing the respective conversations.
The first email, outlining expectations for vaccination requirements in Fall 2021, states, “Meredith will continue to strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccinations of their choice. We also reserve the right to require vaccinations, following full FDA approvals, if campus or local conditions warrant stronger action.” The portal for students, faculty and staff to report their vaccination status will open in mid-July, and individuals will be asked to report their status by July 30. Those who are not vaccinated in the fall will need to “follow community standards, participate in routine testing throughout the semester and quarantine if showing symptoms or exposed to someone with COVID-19,” according to the updated email that was sent on July 1. While free tests are available in Wake County currently and insurance may cover testing costs in some cases, the email notes that “tests at $75-100+ mean students who would have to pay out of pocket could potentially pay up to $1,500 per student over the course of a semester.”
The second email, from President Jo Allen, contains a report from year one of the Anti-Racism Initiative. The attached document discusses the progress the College has made and the “forthcoming efforts that [the] community can expect.” The Campus Climate survey results and the upcoming search for a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) specialist position are both discussed in the document, as well as work by the Board of Trustees, faculty and administration and students. Steps to come include hiring the DEI specialist by mid-fall, the release of three rounds of renaming decisions by the end of 2022 and the development of a new five-year plan including DEI goals for each of the six pillars. The full report can be found in the email, titled “Meredith's Anti-Racism Initiative, Year 1,” in Google Groups, and likely in all undergraduate students’ inboxes soon.
By Olivia Slack, Co-Editor in Chief