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City College Drops Vaccine Mandate for Students

Students walk up and down the steps of City College of San Francisco’s Science building on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. Photo by Don Collier/The Guardsman.

By Elena Chiaruttini 

In an unanimous decision during the regular meeting of the CCSF Governing Board of Trustees held on January 26, 2023, trustees approved significant changes related to COVID-19 vaccines and masking mandates.

Starting February 6, 2023, the indoor mask mandate at all CCSF locations transitioned from ‘mandatory’ to ‘strongly recommended’. This change offers flexibility for individuals, with accommodations available for those unable to work without masking due to health conditions.

Furthermore, effective Summer 2023 registration, the requirement for in-person class students to show proof of vaccination has been lifted.

“We follow what the Health Department guidelines are, but I’m actually glad these decisions have been made. The vaccine mandate was preventing many students from registering. It became a step barrier,” said Beth Freedman, Health Department instructor.

However, while the student vaccine mandate is suspended, the employee vaccination mandate remains in effect. These decisions reflect a balance between safety and adaptability at CCSF.

“I personally don’t think that after this decision, City College suffered an increase in cases of COVID. Besides, the requirement was for a 2021 vaccine; it just doesn’t make sense anymore,” said Freedman.

“I do think the same about masks. I know faculty members lately felt uncomfortable enforcing it, so I’m glad it was lifted,” said Freedman. “Of course, it’s a different thing for programs within the Health Department, like the nursing program, to name one.”

Students’ feedback seems to be positive about this decision.

“I think it needed to happen eventually, and actually, it was about time. It shows we are moving forward as a society. The vaccine was key to getting where we are now, I guess,” said Yamil Lopez Ganatios, a student majoring in Computer Science. “But I do agree with this decision.”

“I’m fine with it,” says Hakili Smith, a student who’s taking Film production classes. “I’m glad it happened, and I do feel comfortable and safe on campus.”

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