Trustees look to future for FM

JOHNSTOWN — What will the fall look like on college campuses is one of the lingering questions on the minds of educators, students and the Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Board of Trustees.

FMCC President Greg Truckenmiller said at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting late last week, they have received some much anticipated guidance from SUNY. He said there are still some unanswered questions and variables as to how things will roll out, adding one thing is for sure, if you are a student and you plan to be on campus, you must be vaccinated.

“Assuming that the emergency authorization is lifted, all students who plan to be on campus for an in person experience will be subject to the vaccine mandate,” said Truckenmiller.

Truckenmiller repeated the sentiments he has had at every meeting over the past few months, that he hopes to see as normal of a school year as possible. He said there are very limited exceptions to the COVID vaccine mandate, explaining that this mandate is different from other mandatory vaccines such as measles, mumps and rubella.

“This doesn’t work the same as other mandatory vaccines. SUNY is mandating that students on campus, for even one class, will need the vaccine. It is unlike other vaccine requirements that have credit hour limits, this does not have that. SUNY is saying if they are on our campus they follow our rules,” said Truckenmiller.

The college will be partnering with health and wellness facilities to help get students vaccinated, including holding a clinic during registration and informational sessions for new students.

“New students will be able to register and receive all the information they need, and while they are here they can get a shot in the arm,” said Truckenmiller.

In total, the college plans to hold at least three clinics before the semester begins. They will also be conducting surveillance testing for the virus throughout the fall for any unvaccinated staff members.

“SUNY can mandate that students be vaccinated, but they cannot, however , mandate that staff receive it. Anyone not vaccinated should then wear a mask according to the guidance that has been released by SUNY. There will certainly be more guidance to come,” said Truckenmiller.

The board also discussed the Capital Project, Truckenmiller said Fulton County’s 2021 Capital Plan contains an appropriation of $200,000 for the FMCC Financial Technology Lab Project. The FM Foundation has agreed to front $75,000 to the County at the start of the project. Trustee Jim Landrio said the school’s highly anticipated Finance and Technology building project has been approved by both counties with the bid awarded to MA Schafer Construction of Altamont for the amount of $216,500.

Student affairs reported 864 students are registered for the fall with 629 full-time enrollees. The school plans to roll out some new marketing enrollment initiatives to help increase their numbers. The campaign will include several 15 second television ads encouraging enrollment for the Fall, an increased billboard presence, radio ads, an improved” front door” website and a stronger presence on social media.

You can learn more about registration for the fall semester by visiting fmcc.edu.

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