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University Council holds special meeting to endorse COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the fall semester

MSU On-Campus
Posted at 7:54 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 21:40:28-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University student and faculty leaders asked President Samuel Stanley to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for returning to campus in the fall.

MSU Student receiving the Johnson&Johnson vaccine at the MSU student-only vaccination clinic
MSU student receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine at the MSU Student-Only Vaccination Clinic. April 2021.

“I’m listening very carefully to what you have to say and I think another thing we’ll continue to monitor nationally in terms of what's happening with covid and that’s going to make a difference in the kind of decisions that I make,” Stanley said.

The university council made up of the faculty senate and student representatives also endorsed a few exceptions to help students that may not have equitable access to vaccines.

“We ask that any kind of vaccine mandate includes reasonable philosophical objections to address these concerns,” Student Representative Aaron Iturralde said.

Other universities like the University of Michigan and Rutgers University announced their vaccine mandates months ago, some faculty members say they don’t know why MSU is falling behind.

“Harvard has a mask mandate. University of California systems, California State systems all have a mandate. So, there are places that are doing this to I think varying degrees of acceptance and disapproval,” Faculty Senate Chair Jennifer Johnson said.

Although the students and faculty voted overwhelmingly to endorse a vaccine mandate for the fall, individual members raised several concerns. Stanley said that he is taking all of those concerns into consideration and isn’t completely ruling out a mandate just yet.

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