TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to the president of the faculty association at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), the school is “disregarding official SUNY policy requiring Covid-19 vaccinations for all students attending classes in-person.”
The HVCC Faculty Association—HVCCFA, the union representing the faculty at the college—filed a grievance against the school, claiming its COVID policy violates contractual workplace safety provisions and SUNY requirements. The union said Roger Ramsammy, president of HVCC made the “reckless and shortsighted” decision without consulting them or the school’s own COVID subcommittee.
Louis Coplin, the vice president of student affairs at HVCC, released a statement that reads in part: “Local high schools and most business and government workplaces do not require vaccination of students or employees. Our students say they are unfairly singled out as they seek to advance their education and career goals. College faculty, staff, high school classmates, and visitors to campus have no mandate to get vaccinated. Our students and parents have asked us to reconsider mandatory vaccination at this time.”
The HVCCFA said they have offered to negotiate vaccine requirements for faculty through collective bargaining for over a year, but that the school repeatedly refused.
Daniel O’Connor, an adjunct philosophy professor at HVCC, said that he approves of the school’s policy. He said that he withdrew from the union when it became clear that it would not listen to his position.
Meanwhile, SUNY Press Secretary Holly Liapis confirmed to NEWS10: “SUNY’s system-wide vaccine mandate remains in place for the fall semester. SUNY is in communication with Hudson Valley Community College about their policy to ensure all students, faculty, and staff are protected.”