University of Michigan requires COVID-19 vaccine for on-campus housing. Will Aquinas College?

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Story by Zach Avery, News Editor

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On Friday, April 23, the University of Michigan announced that all students with plans to live on-campus for Fall 2021 will be required to provide proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination by July 15 to be permitted to move into their assigned room. This new rule only applies to students eligible to live in one of the University of Michigan’s many residence halls, which already operate at a restricted capacity (and are expected to be at only 80% capacity this fall). Students participating in a different form of on-campus housing are not yet affected by this mandate.

The University of Michigan joins Oakland University as the second public university in the state to offer up a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to its students. The announcement can be found on the University of Michigan’s student affairs website where the vice president for student life at the University of Michigan, Martino Harmon, offered a quote on the importance of Michigan students getting vaccinated before the fall semester begins.

“We know that widespread vaccination will be the only way to facilitate a return to normal and robust campus life,” said Harmon. “This is not a mandate to be vaccinated, but rather a choice to live in communal living and therefore make the choice to get vaccinated.”

For the time being, the administration of Aquinas College will not be requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination from its students or employees. However, Aquinas continues to offer up a variety of resources on their website, including directions on vaccine registration, eligibility, and what to expect before, during, and after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

On March 30, Aquinas College began its efforts to encourage its students to get vaccinated at the readily available West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place, which is now taking walk-ins at certain times of day.

Prior to its vaccine requirement, the University of Michigan asked all Michigan students to voluntarily share their vaccination information with them by uploading an image of their COVID-19 vaccination card and privately sending it to the student affairs office. This access to vaccination information will be used by campus officials to make decisions in relation to student experiences in residence halls, as well as aid in granting exemptions from weekly testing and quarantines. 

As of April 22, more than 2700 students at the University of Michigan have done so.

Aquinas College has offered no plan to its students on a possible vaccine requirement, voluntary sharing of vaccination information, or capacity restrictions on campus residence halls.

In the past month, the number of active COVID-19 cases within the Aquinas student body has gone from six to as high as 27 active cases. There have been 63 total cases in this semester alone.

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