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Should Monmouth Mandate Vaccines?

As COVID-19 vaccines become more accessible to the general population, some universities have announced a requirement for upcoming fall students to be vaccinated.

Rutgers was the first New Jersey school to require students to receive a vaccine. It is unknown at this time if Monmouth University plans to follow suit, but President Leahy has expressed an interest in attempting as “normal” of a fall semester as possible.

One editor stated that they would prefer Monmouth to require vaccinations for upcoming students. “I would feel incredibly comfortable coming back to school if everyone was required to get vaccinated and to show proof,” the editor said. “I feel like college aged students are the most prone to getting it in the first place since everyone is within close exposure to one another.”

The idea of “showing proof” of your COVID-19 vaccination is an issue that’s become complicated over the past few weeks. Florida Governor Desantis stated that he would not require a COVID-19 “passport” as proof of vaccination.

“The student should have to provide proof for them not to be vaccinated before returning to campus,” the same editor said. “I believe that everyone should receive the vaccine because it’s our only way back to normalcy.”

The editor says they approve of the vaccine passport because those in highly congested locations such as airports would feel comfortable sitting in such close proximity to strangers.

Despite graduating this spring, a different editor would still like to see vaccine confirmations required throughout campus.

“If I was returned and everyone needed to be vaccinated, I would probably feel so much safer,” the editor said. “I honestly do not think it’s a bad idea, but requiring it might be hard for some people to get.”

The same editor agrees with the previous on their stance of COVID-19 passports.

“I think vaccine passports are vital in ensuring that the virus will not spread to other countries and states,” they said. “I just want this virus gone so any measures to do that I am all for it.”

“I would feel safer knowing that everyone on campus is vaccinated,” another editor said. “Mandatory vaccinations are very controversial, but I think it’s a huge step towards normalcy. I don’t think mandatory vaccines will happen on campus, though, (at least not in the near future) since Monmouth is still waiting on approval to become a vaccine distribution center.”

The same editor believes that if a student does not want to become vaccinated, they should be limited to online classes only.

“I think that if a student doesn’t want to get vaccinated, they can only take online classes. However, I’m not sure how feasible it will be. There are limited course openings at Monmouth as there is (mostly for upper-level classes and grad classes), so having a separate online version of a class may be tough to organize, especially if the university is planning for a full in-person schedule. Also, Monmouth’s fall 2021 and spring 2022 course schedule is already complete, so it might be difficult to reinvent the schedule by adding online classes for those who don’t want to get vaccinated.”

Rutgers has stated that students can opt out of the vaccine requirement for religious or medical reasons.

“I think this is justified,” an editor said. “I don’t think it defeats the purpose because ideally the majority of campus will be vaccinated, therefore limiting spread and infection drastically. I just hope that people aren’t dishonest.”


PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University