Unvaccinated students disallowed from senior portraits

Marziya Hasan

Unvaccinated students from the class of 2022 will not be allowed to take their senior portraits without a religious or medical exemption.

Lexicon, Baruch College’s senior yearbook, explained in an email to The Ticker that only students who take portraits through Prestige Portraits, will be included in the yearbook. As a result, this applies only to vaccinated students because the pictures must be taken on campus.

The Office of Student Life clarified in an email to The Ticker why it is currently not possible to accommodate unvaccinated students hoping to take their senior portraits.

“Currently the vendor that we work with for senior portraits no longer has an off-campus studio to accommodate anyone who is unable to take their photos on campus,” OSL Assistant Director of Leadership Development Dinetta Curtis said. “Therefore, all students who would like to take their senior portrait will need to adhere to CUNY’s safety guidelines and protocol.”

Curtis also explained that alternatives such as allowing students to send in their own pictures were tried in the past.

“Along with other CUNY colleges, and unfortunately, the picture quality was very low and it was difficult for the vendor to correct any of the photos to make them suitable enough to publish the yearbook,” she said.

This came as a surprise to senior Stephanie Peralta, who wasn’t aware of this policy when making her appointment.

“I honestly didn’t know because I received the email last week to schedule when I would take my portrait,” she told The Ticker in a phone call interview.

She had successfully scheduled an appointment to take her portrait, but the confirmation email never mentioned the vaccination policy.

Peralta said she felt that unvaccinated seniors were being left out due to this policy.

“There’s some people that aren’t vaccinated,” she said. “So, it’s not fair to us to not be on the yearbook, like for them to disregard the ones that aren’t vaccinated and act like we never graduated.”

Senior Athena Tozzo said she felt that not all alternatives were tried in a Google form sent out to unvaccinated seniors.

“Taking a covid test before getting the photo taken would just be the most logical option,” she said. “People with the vaccine can still get sick of covid.”

A similar alternative was proposed by Peralta, who hadn’t been able to get her portrait taken despite making an appointment.

“I think definitely there should be alternatives,” Peralta said. “One being just have a negative PCR test prior to getting your pictures taken.”

Peralta continued to express her disappointment with this decision.

“It’s disappointing honestly,” she continued. “This was one of my top schools that I wanted to attend and now that I’m finally here I feel like due to COVID I’m not getting the experience that I should be.”