CHARLOTTE, N.C. —The campus of Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte is quiet this summer, but this fall students will make their return.
The school is requiring students to get a COVID vaccine this fall.
"We want to bring back the vibrancy of a campus that students expect and frankly want, and we want to do that in a safe manner," JWU Charlotte President Cheryl Richards said.
Richards started in the job last June during the height of COVID. The school offers many culinary programs and students are often in close quarters. She says a vaccine is crucial because of this.
"Colleges and universities around the country require a number of vaccines, not just the COVID vaccine, so we're still simply adding this of those that we require," Richards said.
Johnson C. Smith is also requiring students get vaccinated. Davidson College, Queens University and Belmont Abbey College, on the other hand, are not requiring a vaccine at this point.
University of North Carolina Charlotte is following the UNC System which is not requiring a vaccine. One reason is that the school system says it's unclear whether it's legally allowed too. The school system also says there are concerns about vaccine hesitancy and whether a mandate would also apply to faculty and staff.
JWU Charlotte is a private school.
"We strongly encourage that people consider looking into the science of vaccines," Richards said. "We will have exceptions for students based on medical or religious beliefs as well."
Because of the vaccine mandate, JWU Charlotte will not require students to wear masks or social distance. Faculty and staff will not be required to get a vaccine.