HOLLY SPRING, Miss.– New procedures and policies aimed at curbing the transmission of COVID-19 are in place at many colleges and universities as students return to begin the first semester of 2022.

One example is Rust College in Holly Springs where a COVID-19 vaccination is required for on-campus learning.

Tiffani Perry, Chief of Staff at Rust College in Holly Springs, said the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and serious times call for serious measures.

“Rust College has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all students, faculty and staff,” she said.

Perry said the entire campus community was notified in September of 2021.

“This vaccination policy would go into place during the January 2022 semester. So we gave everyone advanced notice,” she said.

The aim is that through vaccinations and weekly testing available on campus, COVID cases will be greatly reduced.

Freshman Da’jun Chew said he wanted to get the vaccination so he could continue with his education.

“They told my freshman class that that they would make the vaccine mandate before we came back after the break and so everybody did have time to prepare and figure out what they wanted to do,” he said. “Honestly, it wasn’t really a big deal for me. Everybody else in my family got it…nobody had no crazy side affects…so I was fine with it.”

But the administration here understands that some students may not be in favor of getting vaccinated for either religious or medical reasons. If so, there are procedures to follow.

“They simply can submit a form that we have provided to those students. Once that form is cleared through the COVID-19 task force committee that we established here on campus, those students will be allowed to register and complete the Spring semester,” Perry said.

We’re told fewer than ten students decided to either not take the vaccination or did not have the medical or religious exemption paperwork.