Brandon University initiates vaccine requirements with pilot project in Music

September 9, 2021

Faculty, staff and students in the Brandon University School of Music are currently piloting the University’s draft vaccine policy, which aims to have everyone on campus vaccinated by the end of October.

Users of the BU Healthy Living Centre, as well as some visitors to Food Services, also have stricter vaccination requirements to follow, under new provincial public health orders. All users of the HLC fitness centre, gymnasiums, or track must be fully vaccinated, although students can attend classes without proof of vaccination. All diners in Food Services must also show vaccination status, aside from those who live in BU Residence or those who are taking food out.

Brandon University is mandating vaccination as a key line of community and campus defense against the spread of Covid-19. Vaccines provide excellent protection against all known variants of the virus and reduce the chances of spread. They have an exceptionally safe track record and, coupled with other protective measures like enhanced ventilation, mask wearing, and physical distancing, can help us get past the pandemic as quickly and safely as possible.

In the School of Music, proof of full vaccination is required immediately from all students, all faculty, and all staff. Doors to the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building are locked, with access through employee key card or BU Student ID card only. Access is granted only to those who have uploaded proof of full vaccination to the university’s new online vaccine portal.

All personal health information is held in the strictest confidence and is used only to verify access to the QEII building.

For those who are not yet vaccinated, or who cannot prove their vaccination status, an accommodations process will permit regular rapid testing instead. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test from within the previous 72 hours will be required for unvaccinated people seeking to access the QEII building. Test results can also be uploaded to the online vaccine portal.

The University has ordered rapid test kits and plans to provide them at cost for those who are granted exemptions.

Academic accommodations and revised work arrangements also exist for those who either test positive (whether vaccinated or unvaccinated) or who are required to self-isolate, and therefore cannot attend campus. If you are sick, stay home.

The School of Music, which is smaller and more self-contained than other faculties, and which also has a high need for in-person instruction, makes for an ideal pilot for Brandon University’s draft vaccination policy.

That full policy is planned to take effect no later than Oct. 31. More details will be provided, including around testing and exemptions, before the add/drop deadline on Sept. 22, so that all students can make an informed decision.

That deadline also gives everyone time to get their first dose right now and be fully vaccinated by the time the policy comes into force. Vaccination as soon as possible is strongly encouraged, as exemptions under the accommodations process are not guaranteed. An inability to attend campus could affect grades, course completion, or employment.

Under current provincial health orders and vaccine mandates, many students in the Faculties of Education and Health Studies will already be required to be vaccinated or to complete regular rapid testing in order to participate in mandatory practicum placements. Outside of the School of Music, the University is not yet requiring proof of vaccination or test results, but will be asking for this no later than Oct. 31.

Brandon University has partnered with Prairie Mountain Health to offer vaccination clinics on campus. Two this week have already been completed with excellent uptake, including a high number of first doses. Another clinic runs this morning from 9–11 a.m. in Harvest Hall. Future dates are being planned, and vaccines are also widely available in the community.

The vaccines are safe, effective, and backed by sound science and public health advice. However, vaccination is not always a simple decision. Brandon University’s Personal Counsellors are available to support students through this process, including anxiety or worries about misinformation.

VACCINE REQUIREMENTS:

  • School of Music: Immediately. Information about submitting proof of vaccination or test results was sent to your @BrandonU.ca email address.
  • Faculty of Health Studies and Faculty of Education: ASAP for those intending a practicum placement this term. The Province of Manitoba required first doses by Sept. 7 and requires second doses by Oct. 17, or regular rapid testing. The University does not yet require you to submit proof of vaccination or test results, but will be asking for this no later than Oct. 31.
  • Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science: By the end of October. The University does not yet require you to submit proof of vaccination or test results, but will be asking for this no later than Oct. 31. You should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Henderson
Marketing Communications Officer
204.727.9762
HendersonR@BrandonU.ca

Grant Hamilton
Director, Marketing and Communications
204.571.8542
HamiltonG@BrandonU.ca

To receive any BU publication in an alternate format: Communications@BrandonU.ca