Vaccine Side Effects

To the Wesleyan community:

As previously announced, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered to our students on April 24-25 with the second dose on May 15-16.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of the vaccine. It is safe and effective, and has been shown to keep people out of the hospital. The vaccine may cause side effects, which means that our immune system is responding appropriately. The types, level, and duration of side effects can vary from one individual to another and do not indicate the degree of immune response.

You will most likely experience a sore arm, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site that may last a day or two. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises individuals not to ‘’pre-medicate’’ with anti-inflammatory agents just prior to receiving the vaccine. There is a concern that pre-medicating may inhibit our immune system response.

You may also experience fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, fever, and/or nausea, which may last one or two days and prevent you from attending work or classes. Supportive measures such as rest, adequate hydration, cool compress at the injection site, Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help ease discomfort.

During this period of campus-wide immunization, we would ask for flexibility for community members who have been vaccinated. Specifically, we request that those who miss a day or two of classes or work not be required to get documentation from a healthcare provider. Because symptoms are similar to those that we screen for at the testing site, we recommend that anyone who has had a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 48 hours and has these symptoms receive a test.

If you are concerned about or experience any post vaccination symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider (staff and faculty) or the Davison Health Center (students):

  • Increasing arm redness after 48 hours
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or abdominal pain
  • Significant lightheadedness or fainting
  • Mental status changes

None of the messenger RNA vaccines including the Pfizer vaccine have been associated with the rare blood clotting phenomena known as Vaccine Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Most experts agree that one is fully immunized at two weeks following the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Until we achieve campus herd immunity, we will still need to adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines.

Anyone who has had COVID should receive a vaccine as soon as possible after release from isolation. Initially, the recommendation was to wait 90 days (natural immunity could be expected to provide protection for at least that long). This recommendation was based on the concern that there was not enough vaccine available for the general population, but supply is no longer an issue.

Wishing you all wellness and safety,

Tom McLarney, MD

Important Commencement Updates – 4/20

Dear Wesleyan community,

We are all excited and eager to celebrate the 189th Commencement and the accomplished and persevering Class of 2021 in person next month. I write to share important details and updates about Commencement. Our condensed Commencement exercises will take place on Andrus Field beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26, rain or shine. Graduates and guests will be in a celebratory mood, but we must adhere to all COVID-19 safety precautions—wearing masks and maintaining appropriate distance.

Other important updates:

–All graduating students—including remote students, December 2020 completions, and graduate degree candidates—may participate in Commencement. Diplomas will be mailed to all graduates after Commencement. December completions and graduating seniors who are studying remotely are permitted to return for Commencement day or may opt to stay on campus Tuesday, May 25, through noon Thursday, May 27. Graduates planning to return to campus for Commencement should inform the University by April 30 by completing the Commencement Plans form.

–While the University would prefer to welcome more guests to campus, we are limiting our numbers to two guests per graduate to ensure the safety of all of our attendees. Graduates will be asked to register themselves and their two guests through the University Box Office. A separate email with the registration link will be sent when registration opens the week of April 26. Registrations are nontransferable.

–All guests should be vaccinated or have received a negative PCR test result three to five days prior to arriving on campus. Guests will enter through designated areas near Andrus Field, and contactless guest check-in will be outside the Usdan University Center.

–Guests will be seated together in groupings of two. All groupings will be spaced to ensure proper social distancing. Guest access to campus will be for Commencement day only. (Other Commencement-related events and activities will be virtual or limited to graduates.)

–For those who cannot attend in person, the Commencement ceremony will be live streamed on the Commencement 2021 website and Wesleyan Facebook page beginning at 11:00 a.m. on May 26.

For more information about Commencement please visit the Commencement 2021 website or email rc@wesleyan.edu.

Finally, these plans are subject to change if conditions warrant. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in making sure we all can mark this milestone safely. We are really looking forward to this!

Sincerely,

Mike Whaley

Vice President for Student Affairs

Notes from the Class Dean – 4/15

Dear members of the class of 2021,

I hope this message finds you doing well. We’re entering the final month of the semester, and I know many of you are anxious for more information to help you prepare for what is to come. The following information should help you finish up required paperwork as we look towards the end of May. I anticipate that you will receive more announcements about commencement from university leadership sometime next week.

Major/Minor/Certificate Certification Forms

This is a final reminder to complete your major/minor/certificate certification forms if you haven’t already done so. You may access instructions here. Class Deans and the Registrar’s Office staff use information provided on these forms to help confirm whether graduation candidates will be cleared for their degrees at the end of the semester.

Honors Thesis Registration/Uploads

Honors candidates may upload their thesis submissions starting at 8:00am, EST on April 20th; the link for thesis submissions will close at 4:00pm, EST on April 21st.

Diploma Name and Address

This Sunday, April 18th is the deadline to submit the name that should be reflected on your diploma. Also submit the correct mailing address for the Registrar to send your diploma when it’s ready; you may submit this information through the Diploma Name and Address link in WesPortal as well. Note: undergraduate students will not receive their diplomas at commencement. The Registrar will mail diplomas for students who have completed all degree requirements and have been cleared to receive their diplomas (i.e. do not have any holds).

Diploma Holds

Students planning to graduate in May must have a student account in good standing to receive their diploma. Please contact the Student Accounts Office with questions. Additionally, eligible graduates with disciplinary holds will not receive their diplomas until those holds are removed. You may contact the Dean of Students Office with any questions.

Upon Completion Policy

I only had two students attend the Upon Completion Q & A I hosted on April 8th, and I didn’t receive many questions for the session. I’ll take that to mean that my clarifying email about the upon completion policy was helpful! You may access the content from that email here.

Change of Grading Mode

The Registrar sent out confirmation that the change of grading mode deadline is 5pm, EST, Thursday, April 28thRemember, this change only impacts courses with the student option.

Withdrawing from Courses

Some of you have already opted to withdraw from a course with a “W” on your academic history/transcript. A “W” is not punitive in nature; it just means you withdrew from a course after the drop/add deadline.

You may request to withdraw from a course by completing the withdrawal form and emailing it to me, your instructor, and your faculty advisor. I will not send forms to the Registrar for processing without hearing from your faculty advisor and instructor. Wednesday, May 5th by 5pm EST is the deadline to withdraw from full semester and/or 4th quarter courses. Check with your faculty advisor(s), Credit Analysis Report, and Gen Ed Report (where applicable) before you request to withdraw from any courses.

2021 Commencement Regalia Updates

  • Pre-ordered caps and gowns will not be delivered to the WRJJ Bookstore until mid-May.
  • You must call Oak Hall (not the bookstore) if you wish to make a change to your order: 800-456-7623. Please tell Oak Hall that you are a Wesleyan University student from Middletown, CT and need to make a change. You’ll need to give them your order number.

Don’t forget the following resources for the final stretch of the semester:

Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)

Accessibility Services

CAPS (remember CAPS offers an after-hours service you may access with the same phone number for business hours: 860-685-2910)

Digital Learning Resources

Gordon Career Center (Check out Cardinals Helping Cardinals)

Math Workshop

Office of Religious & Spiritual Life

Peer Tutoring

Scientific Computing and Informatics Center (SCIC)

Student Academic Resources including Academic Support Services

WesNest (see WesPortal)

WesWell

Writing Workshop

Take gentle care,
Dean Leathers

UPDATE: Wesleyan/CHC Vaccine Clinic for Students

Dear students,

I write with an update regarding the University’s partnership with the Community Health Center (CHC) to host vaccine clinics on April 24 and 25. Due to the Federal Drug Administration’s current review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, CHC will now administer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

Students who choose to be vaccinated at this clinic will receive the first dose on their originally scheduled date and the second on May 15 or 16, three weeks after the initial dose. Parking Lot V at 75 Vine Street will serve as our walk-through vaccination site. All Wesleyan students—both undergraduate and graduate—enrolled in the spring 2021 semester and studying on campus may receive the vaccine.

If you have already registered, you do not need to register again. However, if you registered and have been vaccinated at another location, please cancel your appointment. For students who need to cancel or modify their appointment, you may do so by using your confirmation email (CHCvaccineclinic). Please make any changes to your vaccine appointment by Friday, April 16.

Please note that students who are studying remotely are not eligible to receive the vaccine at this clinic. In addition, students who have already been vaccinated or who are in isolation or quarantine at the time of the clinic will not be vaccinated at this clinic.

You will need to bring your Wesleyan ID card and the completed prevaccination questionnaire with you to your appointment. Because the clinic needs to prepare and plan for a specific number of vaccine doses, it is critical that you arrive promptly at your scheduled appointment time. To avoid congestion, please do not accompany your friends to their appointments if you do not have an appointment at that time. 

Wesleyan will require all students to receive the vaccine prior to returning to campus for the fall semester. Every student (with the exception of those who have approved medical or religious exemptions) will need to verify with the University that they are fully vaccinated prior to their arrival. Students can upload their vaccination record to the Davison Health Center.

Rick Culliton

Dean of Students

Chair, Pandemic Planning Committee

2021 Commencement Regalia Reminder – 4/13

2021 Commencement Regalia 

Students, please note: 

–Pre-ordered caps and gowns will not be delivered to the WRJJ Bookstore until mid-May. 

–If you want to make a change to an order you must call Oak Hall (not the bookstore) to make a change to your order: 800-456-7623. Please tell Oak Hall that you are a Wesleyan University student from Middletown, CT and need to make a change. You’ll need to give them your order number. 

Apply to be Senior Commencement Speaker by 4/9

 

Would you like to share your Wesleyan experience at graduation?  If so, simply submit a 200-250 word essay answering the following question:

What has your Wesleyan experience meant to you?

The essay should be roughly the equivalent of the speech you wish to deliver at graduation. Completed essays should be submitted to Dean Leathers by 12:00 noon EST on Friday, April 9th; you may access the form here. Contact Dean Leathers with any questions about your submission.

All essays will be reviewed anonymously by the Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, which will select several finalists for interviews from the pool. Interviews will be conducted in mid-April, after which the speaker will be announced.

Speaking at Commencement is a unique responsibility which should be taken seriously. Keep in mind that your speech should be appropriate for all commencement participants and guests. If you are interested in becoming the senior speaker for Commencement, please don’t hesitate to submit an essay!

Good luck and all the best!

The Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee

Fitzroy “Pablo” Wickham
Carolina Montano
Jake Kwon
Paulina Veliky
Professor Francis Starr (Faculty Marshal)

Info Session for Christopher Brodigan Award – 4/9

The Christopher Brodigan Fund was established in memory of Christopher Brodigan, a Wesleyan student who died in an accident in his frosh year. The Fund pays tribute to Christopher’s deep interest in Africa and to the public service he provided through teaching in Botswana prior to entering Wesleyan. Awards will be made to graduating Wesleyan seniors (first priority) and recent Wesleyan graduates who plan to pursue public service or research (in that order of preference) on the African continent.

Students from any discipline are encouraged to submit applications proposing a public service or research project in Africa.  Students may propose an individually designed project, or to provide service in an educational institution, development organization, grassroots group, or non-governmental organization pursuing service work.  Research projects will be supported especially if they state the potential significance for the public interest in the country where the project will be carried out.

Recipients receive awards of up to approximately $3,000 each. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with a member of the African Studies faculty (see Faculty listing on this website) while formulating their proposals. More information about the application process can be found on the African Studies website.

Info Session: Friday, April 9th at Noon (EST)

https://wesleyan.zoom.us/j/93349566057  (Use your Wesleyan credentials to log on)

The deadline for applications is Sunday, May 2nd by 11:55pm EST.

Questions? Contact Prof. Laura Ann Twagira

Upon Completion Policy Clarification

Greetings!

I want to provide a point of clarification about the upon completion policy in advance of the Q & A session tomorrow.

The upon completion policy does not exempt students from meeting the university requirement to earn at least 32 applicable, cumulative credits for a degree from Wesleyan. To reiterate, every student still needs to earn at least 32, useable credits for their degrees. Remember, credits attributed to oversubscription will not count. The upon completion policy gives students flexibility to post the necessary credit for the May 2021 degree after the faculty vote on conferrals next month.

For example, if a student has completed all of the requirements for at least one major, has earned at least 16.00 credits on campus (remote study at Wesleyan counts), and still needs up to an additional two (2.00) credits, they may post that credit at a later time and still earn the degree for May 2021 once the university confirms they have completed all requirements for their diploma.

Also note, students who are “upon completion” will not receive their diplomas and the degree will not appear on their transcripts until the remaining credits are posted to their Wesleyan academic histories.  Students with this “upon completion” classification will remain in the class of 2021 but the conferral date on their transcripts will be the date that the additional credits are posted.  Note: this may be an issue for international students on F-1 visas. F-1 visa students will need to consult with OISA before pursuing this option to make sure they will be in compliance with current visa requirements.

Hopefully, this information offers more clarity, but don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions. I encourage you to bring them to the session tomorrow evening!

Take care for now,

Dean Leathers

 

Class of 2021 Upon Completion Q + A – 4/8

Greetings!

I know several of you read the email Provost Stanton sent out about the upon completion policy this evening and I want to provide an opportunity to address as many of your questions as possible. I’m offering a Q&A session this Thursday, April 8th, 5pm-6pm, EST; it will be recorded and Zoom details are offered below.

Class of 2021 Upon Completion Q&A

Thursday, April 8th, 5pm-6pm, EST

https://wesleyan.zoom.us/j/94516023008?pwd=MURWbjR4Q0k0RFZrd3UrbkhXYkttQT09

Meeting ID: 945 1602 3008
Passcode: 715730

Take care for now,

Dean Leathers