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VSU COVID response still evolving

VSU has been offering incentives for students and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccines, but not everyone is on board with being “bribed” to get the vaccine.

The fall semester has started to return to “normal” because masks are strongly encouraged inside campus building but are not required.

Those who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks. They are so strongly encouraged that VSU is offering incentives for students and staff to get vaccinated.

Faculty and students who receive both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson&Johnson may enter a drawing for chances to win prizes.

Prizes include a $500 VSU tuition and fees grant, $500 employee monetary incentive, parking permit for the year, Apple Airpod Pro, Apple Watch SE, 55-inch smart TV, pair of all sports season passes, $75 Amazon gift card and a $50 VSU Flex card.

Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated but do so at the Student Health Center after Aug. 23 will also receive $25 VSU Flex funds, a t-shirt and a vaccine card holder.

Potential winners should be fully vaccinated at least one day prior to the drawing date and will be required to show proof of vaccinations to receive prizes.

The final drawing will take place on Monday, Oct. 25.

Dom Pollard, a junior interdisciplinary studies major, said it’s unfair to those who received the vaccine during spring or summer semester.

“We don’t have a chance to get anything,” Pollard said.

VSU’s incentive policy states that all students, faculty and staff are eligible to sign up for the prize drawings if they are already are or become fully vaccinated. This means all current VSU students and faculty are eligible for the incentives even if they were received vaccinations during a previous semester.

Kennedy Brice, a freshman sociology major, said students shouldn’t be rewarded for doing the bare minimum to keep others safe.

“I understand this country’s history of experimenting on marginalized communities may be preventing people of color from wanting to get it, which is understandable, and honestly if I were in that situation, I don’t think I’d get the vaccine either,” Brice said. “But the rest of us really have no excuse. It’s the bare minimum.”

Written by Sam Acevedo, staff reporter. Photo courtesy of Bailey Storey.

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