Include All In-Person Higher Education Staff in the 1B Category for Vaccinations
March 2, 2021

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We, the employees, students, and community of SUNY state-operated campuses, call upon you to clarify the eligibility criteria for those included in the 1B category for vaccinations to explicitly include all in-person higher education staff.

Last month, the decision was made to include in-person higher education faculty and instructors in the 1B category for vaccination. That decision to include in-person academics in 1B was a welcome and crucial step in assuring that those working on campuses in essential front-line positions, and our campus communities are safer. However, as presently established, the inclusion of only “in-person faculty and instructors” has apparently excluded many, if not most, higher education staff members from eligibility.

These higher education staff work in-person and are in essential positions involving direct contact with students. They work as residential life directors (who both live and work in student dorms), academic counselors, instructional support staff, academic and professional librarians, financial aid staff, researchers, and in many other student facing roles.

Their apparent exclusion from eligibility for vaccination in 1B is unfortunate. The duties these dedicated employees perform can, and do, bring them into contact with students in circumstances which present equivalent, if not greater, risk of exposure to the virus than that experienced by academic faculty teaching in person.

These individuals perform work much like that done in P-12 settings by school administrators, paraprofessionals, and support staff - all of whom are expressly included in 1B.

Like in person K-12 staff, all in-person higher education staff should be included in 1B and be immediately eligible for vaccination.

Such a step would serve the interests of all those living and working in SUNY communities across New York, as the greater the number of those eligible for vaccination, the greater the likelihood that the COVID pandemic will be controlled and eventually eliminated.

We, the undersigned, are calling on you to to explicitly include all in-person higher education staff in the eligibility criteria for those included in the 1B category for vaccinations.

SUNY's Employees, Students & Community,

*** PLEASE SIGN BELOW to show your support for this call for Governor Cuomo to provide clarification that the eligibility criteria for those included in the 1B category for vaccinations explicitly includes all in-person staff in higher education.***

AFTER YOU SIGN BELOW, the complete list of signatories can be found at the following link:
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