From: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Date: July 19, 2021
Dear Berkeley Law Students,
As expected and communicated previously, the University of California Office of the President has adopted a COVID vaccine policy. The final version was released on July 15. As of August 2, the policy requires that you prove that you are “fully vaccinated” (or else submit a medical or religious exemption or pregnancy deferral request) in order to be on campus. Fully vaccinated means having the final WHO- or CDC-approved shot (e.g., either the Johnson & Johnson shot or the second Moderna/Pfizer shot) two weeks before you return to campus.
If you received a vaccination off campus, you will need to upload your verification and other required documentation to Etang. Please do this as soon as possible, and no later than August 4, so we can ensure compliance in advance of classes and other in-person activity.
We will enforce this vaccination requirement as follows, subject to the exceptions listed below:
- When we learn that a student is not-compliant, we will immediately direct that student not to come to campus until that student is compliant. Students who are absent from classes due to non-compliance will not be able to attend their courses remotely, will not be granted any extensions to complete assignments due to absence, and will not be excused from the academic consequences of missing classes, which could include being assigned a failing grade in a course or courses.
- Be aware that if you are non-compliant then you could receive your first direction not to come to campus after classes have already started, depending upon when the campus notifies the Law School of your non-compliance.
- Discretionary withdrawals will not be approved for non-compliant students. Non-compliant students will therefore be charged full tuition and fees in addition to being assigned grades that reflect their resulting lack of participation in class and any resulting failure to be present for examinations.
- Note that our academic calendar is different from the rest of the campus. Communiques to the broader campus community about compliance deadlines may refer to different dates that do not correspond to our calendar.
- Students will be permitted to attend classes without full vaccination if they have applied for or received a medical or religious exemption, or a pregnancy deferral. You must request these exemptions as described here by August 2.
- Students will temporarily be permitted to attend classes without full vaccination if they arrive on campus from a country where a WHO- or FDA-approved vaccine was not available to them or where a second dose of a two-dose WHO- or FDA-approved vaccine was not available to them. These students will be permitted to attend class if they:
- Complete an attestation form by August 15 that a WHO or FDA approved vaccine was not available to them or that a second dose of a two-dose WHO or FDA approved vaccine was not available to them in time to be fully vaccinated by the start of in-person classes. This exception does not apply to international students generally, but only to students who are coming from a country where a vaccine was not available to them and who attest to this fact.
- Complete an attestation form by August 15 that they received at least one vaccine dose of a two-dose vaccine or a single-dose vaccination as soon as possible following arrival in the United States.
- These attestation forms will be available on the Law School Registrar’s website by August 2nd.
- All students subject to these exceptions must comply with applicable testing, face covering, and other prevention measures.
Because this is essential to the health of our community, failure to comply with any aspect of this policy (including attending class when not in compliance or false attestation) will result in a referral to the campus Center for Student Conduct. If found responsible through the Center of Student Conduct process, that decision becomes a part of a student record’s and is reportable to the Bar.
I very much look forward to our return to campus and to the beginning of in-person classes on August 16! Our goal is to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. I enormously appreciate everyone’s patience and compliance as we deal with this unprecedented situation.
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law