Marquette Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination
Beloit College and Lawrence University will also require vaccinations.
Marquette University has become the largest college in Wisconsin to institute a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the upcoming academic year.
In a letter to students and staff, President Dr. Michael R. Lovell said the university will require a COVID-19 vaccination for all students attending classes during the 2021-2022 academic year.
“A vaccinated student population will allow us to provide you with a richer in-person experience, reduce testing and let you interact more freely across campus,” Lovell wrote.
The university is allowing students the ability to request exemptions to the requirement on medical and religious grounds, or due to “personal conviction.” Students with exemptions will be required to continue undergo surveillance testing
Lovell wrote, “Scientific evidence has shown that vaccines are safe and effective at reducing transmission of the virus.” This statement has been repeatedly affirmed by public health officials at the local, state and federal level and by data from lab trials and millions of vaccinations worldwide.
Marquette is the first college in the Milwaukee area to require COVID-19 vaccination. But other private institutions have already announced similar policies. Beloit College and Lawrence University will both have vaccine requirements for the coming school year.
For unvaccinated students and staff, all the pre-vaccine COVID-19 protocols remain.
Other schools, like Milwaukee School of Engineering, are not requiring vaccination, but are allowing vaccinated students to enjoy the campus free of some COVID-19 restrictions like mandatory mask wearing.
Vaccine requirements have become a controversial proposition nationwide. In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers have proposed legislation that would bar the public UW-System from instituting a vaccine requirement.
While the UW-System does not require any vaccinations, it recommends them for diseases like hepatitis, meningitis and tetanus. State law does require students living in residential facilities, like dormitories, to tell universities whether they have been vaccinated for meningitis or hepatitis B.
Governor Tony Evers has already vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have banned the state government from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination. But the governor said it was unlikely Wisconsin would institute such a requirement. Though, as the Associated Press reported, he doesn’t think it’s unreasonable for health care systems, businesses or universities to require vaccination.
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