DePaul will not require students to receive a Covid-19 booster shot, but the Department of Housing may ask on-campus students to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to returning to campus.
After Loyola University announced that returning students would be required to receive the booster, DePaul is only recommending students, faculty and staff to receive the booster if they’re eligible, according to media spokesperson Russell Dorn.
This announcement comes after DePaul announced they would operate virtually for the first two weeks of the quarter, with plans to return in person by Jan. 18.
Housing announced in a Dec. 7 email that they “may ask” students in resident halls for a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before moving in. A statement from Rick Moreci, Director of Housing, Dining and Student Centers to The DePaulia said students are being asked to show proof, but not required.
“Students are being asked to get tested for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before returning to campus, if possible,” Moreci said. “We realize some students may not have the ability to get tested before returning. For students who are not able to get tested, testing on campus will be available and hours have been increased throughout January to make it easier for students to be able to get a test upon their return.”
According to the DePaul Covid-19 resource page updated on Dec. 15, starting Jan. 3, 2022, on-campus Covid-19 testing will resume on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Loop Campus; and Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lincoln Park Campus.
“DePaul is asking students to get booster shots if they are eligible to do so,” Moreci said. “While this is not a requirement of returning to campus or the residence halls, it is highly recommended and advised.”
Despite operating virtually, residence halls and dorms will reopen Jan. 2. Students living both on and off campus are staggering when they will return to dorms and Chicago.
Sophomore Mary Peterson said she doesn’t feel pressured to come back as soon as dorms reopen.
“My original plan was to fly back on Jan. 2 to be back by the first day of classes,” Peterson said. “But now with classes being online, I don’t really see the need to be ‘punctual’ in coming back. If it’s all gonna be online for the first two weeks, why would I come back in the midst of new-year traffic when I could wait a week?”
While other Chicago universities will require students to take precautions, sophomore Emmanuel Mijares said that DePaul shouldn’t require anything from students.
“Although I think it’s something that would serve as reassurance and should be done, I don’t think DePaul should require anything more from students,” Mijares said. “There’s already been a lot put onto students and if DePaul is confident in their safety precautions, along with on-campus regulations, I don’t think that a negative Covid test result would be necessary.”
DePaul said they would extend on-campus testing hours; however, on-campus testing closed Dec. 16 and will not resume until Jan. 3, the first day of winter quarter. DePaul’s Covid-19 page offers resources to find off campus testing for students.
“I better see a change on [DePaul’s] website that states that their free on-campus testing is seven days a week for extended hours so that they can make sure that their ‘mission to keep students and faculty safe’ is successful,” Peterson said.
DePaul expects to reopen to full in-person learning on Jan. 18.
“Another two weeks of remote learning isn’t something anyone would be looking forward to, but returning to campus safely should be a priority to us all,” Mijares said.