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INDIANAPOLIS– Butler University announced Monday it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff members.

The university is asking for proof of vaccination by Aug. 1.

“It is quite clear to me that requiring the vaccine best supports an environment that allows us to provide an educational experience that is most effective, with the highest degree of safety, and the least number of restrictions,” Butler President James Danko wrote in a letter to the Butler community. “Regarding the environment outside of the classroom, I am confident that we will be able to fully restore a vibrant on-campus experience, allowing our students to return to pre-pandemic activities.”

By requiring vaccinations, Butler expects herd immunity will be established within the campus community. This will allow the university “to restore the campus experience for students, faculty and staff this year,” the school said in a release.

For those who are vaccinated, pandemic-era policies are being relaxed, including social distancing and mask wearing. Face-to-face classroom instruction will return at full capacity and there will be normal social activities.

Those with medical or religious conflicts, as well as strongly held personal convictions, can request an exemption. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students, faculty and staff members who receive an exemption will need to follow certain health and safety protocols, which will include regular surveillance testing for COVID-19.