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NIU students, faculty react to COVID-19 vaccine requirement

DeKalb NIU students and faculty have mixed feelings about the university requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for students in the fall, along with what the requirement means to move back into the in-person school year.

announced NIU June 23 That students who live on campus and take in-person tutoring during the upcoming fall semester are required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure a safe classroom and reduce transmission of COVID-19.

“I definitely agree with him. I think it is very important now for everyone to come together again,” Joseph DirenzoAnd Chief Marketing Officer, he said. “Things are finally opening up. Everyone can be together in a safe environment and not have to worry about anything.”

Direnzo believes that most students will respond positively, but there will be a group that will not go back and stay online.

“I have two friends who obviously don’t want to have it because they are worried about side effects,” said junior psychologist Madison Peyton. “If you get the vaccine, you go to class on campus and come back to life in school again, so people who absolutely refuse to get it all lose all of those things.”

NIU will offer a $100 incentive to students who provide evidence of having received a COVID-19 vaccine to encourage more people to receive it. NIU will request an official immunization card or documentation from a medical provider to be uploaded to MyNIU so that students can attend in-person classes or live on campus. Students can request an exemption for not being vaccinated.

“We’ve had the flu shot since we were kids to make sure we’re okay to go to school and everything, but we get rewarded for it (the COVID-19 vaccine) just because we get it,” Peyton said. . “I just think it’s a little weird. We really shouldn’t get a reward if we want to vaccinate and keep others safe.”

On the other hand, Direnzo said the $100 incentive is a huge motivating factor and will help get more students to get vaccinated. Because people have died from COVID-19, he said, it’s important that you want to push the vaccine now.

Peyton will receive her second dose of the Moderna vaccine later this month. She got her first dose when she saw other schools asking their students to get the vaccine, and she wants to keep others safe.

Students who live in residence halls or Northern View are required to receive either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson before moving to their rooms. “Students who do not live in NIU dorms but take in-person tutoring should receive their full dose of their vaccines by Friday, August 20,” Freeman said via email sent to students.

Gina Dooley, a teacher at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said she is excited to teach in person again but is concerned about how students will readjust back to campus.

“I think the students are used to the luxury of not having to commute,” Dooley said. “I am curious to see if the students will still get to class on time. I wonder if the students will be early and excited, or if they will be a few minutes late because they might have to relearn how to navigate the parking lot, or just get dressed or Equip all their materials.”

NIU spokesperson Joe King said professors will not be provided with a list of students who have been vaccinated and who have not.

The NIU announced June 11 that it will not require vaccinated individuals to wear a mask due to Illinois entering Phase 5 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Dooley said masks are still a good idea to prevent other viruses throughout the year. A mask can be a good preventative tool, so she said she would understand why people continue to wear masks even if they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The NIU will not require employees to receive the vaccine because the majority of COVID-19 cases have been among students, according to NIU . site.

“You don’t know what the faculty is doing when they’re not teaching or anything; you could go out every night or whatever,” Peyton said.

In the 2020-2021 school year, 907 students tested positive for COVID-19 and 101 staff members tested positive, according to the NIU COVID-19 dashboard.

“If a student has to get[the vaccine]the teacher has to get it because we’ll all be together in the same room, so I think it’s irrelevant. Both groups need to get it,” Direnzo said.

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