EWU 602-02: Immunizations_FirstRead
Proponent: Vice Presidents for Student Affairs & Business & Finance
- Removes the requirement for students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Adds a chapter indicating that certain programs may have additional immunization requirement.
Naite Boham says
Two years ago, I worked in Housing on a small college campus. I worked closely with our maintenance team leader, Michael Bigcrane. One day, we had a minor emergency; I don’t remember what it was, or why I called him. But I remember his phone ringing, ringing, and going to voicemail. We didn’t know yet that he had died from COVID the night before.
My father also passed away recently – just this Christmas. I helped take care of him through many serious health crises, worst of all being the cancer that killed him. The chemo completely obliterated his immune system in the middle of a pandemic. He relied on me and my mother for everything. We could not afford to get sick and risk spreading COVID to him.
When mask mandates were lifted, we worried. We were lucky to work on a college campus where vaccines were required, just like the ones for measles. It was a tribal college, and we witnessed first-hand the health disparities that caused COVID to hit the Native community hardest of any ethnic group. Many students had to miss school to attend funerals, or because they themselves were immunocompromised.
When deciding university policy, we have to decide if we are going to do the bare minimum, or if we are going to do what is right.
If we do not require COVID vaccines on campus, we are telling our disabled, elderly, and immunocompromised students, staff, faculty, and community members that we do not care about them – that if our campus is unsafe for them, we will not miss them. For those who are ostensibly healthy, but still care for people at high risk, this policy makes it all the more likely that we will take home an illness that could kill our loved ones.
The situation around COVID is improved compared to last year, and for that I am very grateful. It is wonderful to see everyone in person again and start rebuilding so many things that were lost to the pandemic. But I want what we build to be safe and accessible for all of the members of our EWU community, and I think for this reason it is the moral thing to continue to require COVID vaccines for students and employees.