Vaccines to be mandatory at Rutgers University, students react

Graphic by Amanda Bollig.

Following the ongoing pandemic, Rutgers University declared on March 25 that they would make COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for students to attend classes on campus in the 2021 fall semester.  

This could set a precedent for other colleges to require vaccinations for on-campus activities and learning. Interestingly, Rutgers University has also stated, “Students may request an exemption from vaccination for medical or religious reasons.”  

Students at Kirkwood Community College shared thoughts on making the vaccine mandatory. William Derosia, nursing major, spoke his approval. “It’s a good idea as a whole to do so. I’m getting mine today anyway. I think it would be of the best interest to the students and faculty if that were to happen.”  

Other students also saw this as a positive. Camden Batchelder and Makenna Bieber, both majoring in Liberal Arts, agreed. “I think it would be a good idea because it would make going to in-person learning that much safer,” Batchelder said. Bieber added, “I think they should make it mandatory for that reason.”  

Kirkwood vaccine clinic
Kirkwood hosted it’s first vaccine clinic at the Rec Center, as seen on Friday, April 22, 2021. PHOTO BY ANIUHA YOUNG.

Sophie Gray, marketing major, said she thinks differently. “No, I do not agree with the college. I want to advocate for the students that do not feel comfortable with getting the vaccine. I understand that the vaccine is helping to save lives but I also know that there has to be at least one long-term negative effect that we have not seen,” she said.  

Gray added, “I am not for or against anyone getting the vaccine. I believe students should educate themselves on the risks of both sides. It is a choice they should make based on their knowledge of the vaccine and their own bodies.”  

According to, “The Iowa Board of Regents will not require students and faculty at the state’s three public universities to receive a COVID vaccine before returning to campus in the fall.”

Kirkwood Community College also recently announced it will not require students to have the COVID vaccine in order to take classes on campus in the fall.

Images courtesy of Amanda Bollig | Kirkwood Communiqué and Aniuha Young

Categories: COVID-19, National News, News