NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven welcomed on-campus freshmen who moved in on Tuesday morning.
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Lieutenant Gov. Susan Bysiewicz were at Southern Tuesday morning to discuss the reopening of in-person campus activities and talk to students about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Back in June, education officials made the decision to require COVID vaccinations in order to attend in-person classes or events at any of the state colleges and universities.
Students arriving Tuesday were ready to unpack and tackle a whole new school year. This while separation anxiety becomes very real for parents.
Julie Bracher, an SCSU parent, told News 8 fighting back tears, “Just enjoy every part of it…I’m sorry I just can’t speak.”
While there is reason for concern, students appear to be ready to help stop the spread of COVID.
Jada Mars, a freshman, said, “I already got vaccinated a while ago and just hope everyone is wearing their mask, so we don’t have to go back home.”
Across Connecticut, all college and university students are required to get vaccinated before heading to campus, unless their institution allows certain exceptions such as health reasons.
On hand for move-in day, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
“We are at a breakthrough moment,” Sen. Blumenthal said, “because we are at the verge of conquering this pandemic.”
The U.S. and state officials are on campus encouraging students and parents who are not already vaccinated to get the vaccine and discuss guidelines for in-person activities on campus.
“In-person learning, football, large parties, all those can continue if you get vaccinated,” the lt. gov. explained. “That’s what the Board of Regents is saying.”
Around 57% of people in Connecticut ages 16-24 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the state Dept. of Public Health.
According to the State Health Department, the vaccination rate of students at Southern is moving in the right direction.
“What’s really great is 92 percent of Southern students have been vaccinated already,” Bysiewicz said.
A vaccination clinic is being held on campus for those looking to get fully vaccinated.
Upperclassmen will also return to campus later this week.