Students react to Fall 2021 COVID-19 vaccine mandate at CA universities

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 23, 2021

For local universities like Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff on campus will be required this Fall 2021, but only once the FDA gives formal approval to the vaccines.

"I think it's not only about what you think is right but I think it's about the other students, too. I think if you don't have the vaccine, you are putting other students in danger, not only yourself but others,” Cal Poly freshman Garrett Sasaki said.

According to Cal Poly, the policy would allow for exemptions on the basis of medical necessity and religious beliefs.

Some students are not taking a side.

"I mean, it's tricky. I feel like you should have a choice,” Cal Poly freshman Ethan Lee said.

And some don't agree at all.

"I am not the biggest supporter. I think it shouldn't be an organization mandate thing, it should be more individually driven,” Cal Poly freshman Sam Mikolajczyk said.

The two systems expect to have a majority of their instruction and activities back to in-person this fall.

CSU or UC students or staff who fail to comply with the mandate won't be allowed on campus or in campus housing.

"On a college campus, that means going back to class in person and I think that's what everybody wants,” Cal Poly freshman Lilliana Ruiz said.

Community college campuses like Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria say they also plan to have a majority of students back in the classroom this fall but that it is too early to say whether they will require vaccines.

In a statement, school officials said, "Community colleges have local jurisdiction so it really is our decision and we want to make a decision that is best for our students, faculty, and the communities that we serve."

Health experts believe that they can reach herd immunity and prevent COVID-19 breakouts on college campuses by doing this.