By Caden Merrill, Sept. 14, 2021
With the Sept. 30 deadline for Cal Poly Pomona students to upload proof of vaccination or receive exemption drawing nearer, the university administration provided more details about the requirement’s enforcement.
The California State University announced the deadline in July, mandating all CSU students to either provide proof of vaccination, request a medical or religious exemption, or attest they will not physically come to campus during the semester. Since then, CPP administrators have stated students who do not take those actions before the deadline would face disciplinary action. Jonathan Grady, associate vice president and dean of students, provided more details on the campus’ actions after the September deadline.
“In terms of disciplinary action, students may lose access to Canvas, they may have a registration hold placed on their account and then the last option would be disenrollment from (Cal Poly Pomona),” Grady said. “It would be a progressive timeline.”
The disciplinary action would be enforced and escalate in severity on a rolling basis in phases rather than all at once. First would be the temporary ejection from the Canvas learning system, then the registration hold, and finally, the temporary disenrollment as a last resort. The punishments will be lifted once the student complies and completes one of the four actions.
“The majority of our students have already completed one of the four actions, which is amazing,” Grady said. “We’re actually very happy with where our community is at in terms of the percentage.”
According to an email to The Poly Post by Frances Teves, coordinator of the campus’ Safer Return Task Force, as of Sept. 10 more than 21,800 students and 3,200 employees have submitted their vaccination record. This accounts to 71.6% of students and 88% of staff having uploaded vaccination records.
An additional 7.6% or about 2,300 students have opted for the alternatives to uploading their vaccination records.
As validated by the statistics, most students are helping the university progress toward its vaccination goals. Bryce Kerr, a mechanical engineering student, approved of the mandate and its exemption for medical reasons.
“I think it’s irresponsible to not be vaccinated if you have the capability to do so,” Kerr said. “I understand there are allergies and other health issues that make it so some people aren’t able to get the vaccine. Obviously, that is a valid reason not to be vaccinated.”
Like Kerr, other students agree that being vaccinated is still crucial as the pandemic continues, regardless of waivers or disciplinary action. However, according to biology student Kristen Scott, no disciplinary action the school enforces can hold a candle to what COVID-19 potentially has in store for unvaccinated people.
“The default setting disciplinary action is getting sick and dying,” Scott said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, as of Sept. 10, 58.5% of LA County residents are fully vaccinated with nearby Orange and San Bernardino counties registering fully vaccinated rates of 60.6% and 45.5%, respectively.
More so than the mandate, Grady also encouraged the campus community to continue submitting the university’s health screener.
“(The daily health screener) is also extremely important in making sure that if a person is exhibiting symptoms, we want them to stay at home,” Grady said. “The contact tracing process has been fantastic, the testing process has been fantastic and the health center has been doing an amazing job. Our goal is that we want to get back to 100% in person; we are taking steps to get back to 100% in person.”
For students who have yet to complete one of the four required actions, forms for all options can be found on the Safer Return’s Vaccine Information website.
-With reporting from Elizabeth Casillas
Feature image courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski
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