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SUNY prepares for students to return to campus without restrictions

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ALBANY (WBNG) -- As the school year nears, the SUNY system is working to get students back on campus safely and without restrictions.

Jim Malatras, the SUNY chancellor, told 12 News Tuesday that there will be challenges with the upcoming semester, but he's confident that SUNY schools will be reopened in a normal manner.

He added there are going to be stipulations that will allow students to participate in school and activities differently, all of which are built around the vaccine.

"We have a basic rule; if you're vaccinated, you don't have to wear masks, you don't have to socially distance, you can live in the dormitory, you can play sports," Malatras said.

For more than two weeks, there has been the SUNY 30-Day Vaccine Challenge, encouraging students and staff to get vaccinated in order to make campus life easier and freer.

Malatras added that while they are not required right now, SUNY will mandate that students get the vaccine if they receive full FDA approval, not just the emergency use authorization that they have right now.

He said that students are the ones responsible for the vaccination efforts, showing how much they want to be back on-campus.

"They want to go back to normal. We were one of the big systems to stay back in-person during the previous academic year when most systems went remote. Our students survived it, but they really should enjoy college," Malatras said.

He said that in a recent random survey of around 35,000 students within the SUNY system, 72% indicated that they had already received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

Kienan Dixon

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