Starting Sept. 7, the university announced a two week mask mandate for campus and the university started setting up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in residence halls and during tailgates.
“We are trying to motivate people becoming vaccinated. We, as a university, believe that is more effective than mask wearing,” Dr. Tamara Long, vice president for enrollment and student life, said.
These pop-up clinics provided a way for students and faculty to receive the vaccination without having to make an appointment. However, Long believes that they will not put on a clinic again due to low attendance.
”We did not see high rates of people participating in the clinics,” Long said. “It was costly to have staff for the clinic however, good for exposure to the vaccine and information.“
To combat misinformation, alongside the vaccination clinics professors in the science department created the Vaccine Roadshow to help educate students and the community about the vaccine. As well, Long helped promote a questionnaire with OB-GYN, Dr. Whitney Mascorro, called ‘The COVID Vaccine: Facts and Faith.’
“It is a part of the goal with the Vaccine Roadshow to try to get to enough people that maybe have those questions,” Dr. Diana Flanagan, assistant professor of the biology department and who helps run the Vaccine Roadshow, said.
The mask mandate for the entire campus ended Friday, Sept. 24. Vaccinations are continued to be given to students on campus through the MACC and through appointment.
“The more people that become vaccinated is going to help control the spread of COVID-19,” Flanagan said.“This can lead to a more enjoyable learning experience for students, exposed students who are vaccinated can still enjoy everyday life while watching their symptoms. It is more about helping to protect the community as well as yourself.”