Hot on the heels of its announcement that virtually all its unvaccinated students will soon be disenrolled, Xavier University of Louisiana’s vice president of student affairs Dr. Curtis Wright is co-leading an event at 5pm CT on the topic of vaccination status among college students.
The event is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Health, and will also feature another HBCU representative, Dr. Robyn Merrick of Southern University Baton Rouge, alongside Dr. Eric D. Griggs (aka “Doc Griggs”), Dr. Susannah Craig of the Louisiana Board of Regents, and De. Leron Finger of Children's Hospital New Orleans.
Reports began to emerge yesterday that the nation’s Catholic HBCU would be making good on its pledge made in April, which specified that students planning to return to the school this Fall would need to get the shot.
A similar announcement in July, posted to XULA’s website, reiterated the policy.
One story, from the New Orleans’ local Fox affiliate, published comments from various students who oppose the measure, though it's unclear whether that sentiment is widespread among the university’s more than 2,500 students.
It’s also unclear how many students will be affected, as the university has yet to give a number or comment on its public platforms.
Instead, the news came via the media, with comments from Vice President of Administration and Chief of Staff Patrice Bell specifying that unvaccinated students will be notified of their disenrolled status, effective at the end of the week.
The university has not used its social media accounts to comment on the matter, instead announcing tonight’s event shortly before noon CT.
Various universities across the country have issued similar mandates as the one at XULA, and a general consensus seems to exist among Catholic universities that such a policy is necessary to protect students, staff, and faculty from the rapidly intensifying Delta variant of COVID-19.
As such, while the news may upset some, it’s clear that the institution founded by St Katharine Drexel herself is still in the business of enhancing Black lives.
Interested parties can register for this evening’s webinar here.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).