Xavier University of Louisiana, a private Catholic HBCU in New Orleans, will begin disenrolling students who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. The unenrollment process for students who do not have clearance to attend in-person classes will go into effect at the end of this week.

“I think it’s unfair to unenroll them because they still need their education. But I can see both sides,” sophomore Elise Tookes told Fox 8. “They’re trying to protect the students that they have on campus and they’re trying to make it normal for us as much as possible.”

Students were sent a letter in April from Xavier University President Reynold Verret, alerting them that proof of vaccination would be required for the fall semester. 

“Your vigilance during this past year has allowed Xavier to open its doors and remain open by keeping our COVID- 19 infection rates very low,” the letter reads. “To continue our shared commitment to each other, we are requiring that all students receive their Coronavirus vaccines before returning for the Fall 2021 semester. Proof of vaccination will be required for all students planning to attend this fall."

Students may be exempt from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, however, for medical and/or religious reasons. 

“If they [students] are able to provide the documentation or work with us to get through the vaccine protocols prior to that time then we will be able to make some accommodations,” Patrice Bell, vice president of administration and the chief of staff, said. “Otherwise just like any other vaccine that is required across the nation at any other university, you will not be able to join us for the fall of 2021.”

Some students who were reluctant to get the vaccine, like junior Paul Thomas, expressed how the university should recognize that attending school is transient.  

"This is a stop-gap in people's lives. I guess they don't see it that way, but it's true," Thomas said, 4WWL reported. "I scrambled to find any way, maybe, I could get health cleared without it showing up with a negative COVID test, anything for real and it didn't seem reasonable.” 

For staff and students who qualify for medical or religious exemptions, like Kalif Brown, they will be subjected to submit two weekly COVID-19 tests.

“I don’t feel like it should be something I’m forced or my future, which is college, should be in jeopardy because of the choice I make to or not to get vaccinated,” Brown said.

Xavier is now one of 773 colleges that are requiring students to get the vaccine. The school, however, says that students who are unable to join in the fall will hopefully be able to attend classes in the spring.

“We feel it’s very important that we set the standard, not just for our little community at 1 Drexel Drive at Xavier University, but those neighboring communities in the city, the state, and the country,” Bell said.

According to the school’s administration, the student body, which stands at 3,400, has almost reached full compliance.