LSU Faculty Wants Vaccine Mandate for Fall Semester
A vote by a wide majority of faculty members at LSU in Baton Rouge shows support for a vaccine mandate for students this fall.
80% of the faculty members voted to support the call for vaccines for Covid before students can return to in-person learning. The vote was held online and more than 600 votes came in during the online process. LSU leaders are trying to clarify the votes to see which ones actually came from full time faculty members.
10 professors are pushing for the vaccine requirement. The LSU student senate is also calling for mandatory vaccines for students and staff.
But opponents say this issue will likely result in a legal challenge because the Covid vaccine is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Can a university require a vaccine that is not formally cleared by the FDA?
But once the FDA gives approval, the Covid shot could be added to the list of required vaccines at campuses around the state.
University leaders are encouraging students to get the vaccine and many have started putting together incentive programs to try to get more young people to step up and get vaccinated. LSU is looking at deals to officer housing rebates, free parking, and even some cash incentives.
There has also been some discussion about continuing the mask mandate at LSU, but no final decision has been made on that issue. These concerns will next go before the LSU Board of Supervisors.
The reason this is such a hot topic at colleges across Louisiana is because only 20% of Louisiana residents between ages 18-29 have gotten the shots.
The Manship School of Mass Communications reports several professors "have expressed concern that a relatively low vaccination rate could place instructors and students, especially those with immune disorders at risk, and lead to disruptive outbreaks."
The news release says:
We call on the university leaders and administration to take bold action—now. We want to welcome students back to our classrooms and laboratories in the fall. A vaccine requirement is the best way to ensure that this can safely happen.
The next LSU Board of Supervisors meeting is June 18.