California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) plans to return to in-person classes this upcoming fall, but students, staff and faculty will need to be 100% vaccinated, according to an email sent by CSUMB President Ochoa’s office to students on April 22.
In the email, Ochoa expressed the safety of the campus and the surrounding areas is the school’s top priority which is why “a safe return to campus will be based on facts and evidence.”
This echoes CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro’s announcement on April 22 that stated both the CSU and the University of California systems will require faculty, staff and students who are utilizing campus facilities be immunized to COVID-19 to keep both those on campus and the surrounding area safe.
The vaccine requirement stands in effect as long as two or more types of vaccines remain fully approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Like all of the other required vaccines in the university’s policy, Ochoa’s email said “the COVID-19 vaccination requirement would allow for students or employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds.”
For some, obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine might not be possible, and CSUMB does have a back-up plan ready which includes, “a mix of alternative course offerings” for those without a vaccine. This backup plan is still being refined, according to Ochoa’s email. The email also stated it is certain the “CSU vaccination requirement, mask-wearing and other safety measures … will be part of our plan for a safe return to campus.”
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has been a controversial topic in the United States. CSUMB students had mixed feelings about Ochoa’s announcement about vaccine requirements.
Fourth-year collaborative health and human services major Amanda Contreras expressed the importance of ensuring campus safety from the COVID-19 virus, but said this mandate might be “exclusive to the population who is not yet ready to take the vaccine.”
Moneka Tawdrouse, a third-year molecular biology major said the university should mandate the vaccine for those who live in the dorms, but that students who commute should be recommended to get the vaccine, not mandated to do so.
Third-year business major Gustavo Aquino feels neutral about the vaccine mandate. “I personally don’t like the idea of mandinating it, but the approach that they want to take is reasonable.”
A finalized decision on in-person instruction and layout will be announced at the same time as Fall 2021 class schedules are available on May 10.