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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

University Of Wyoming Students Weigh In On Potential Of Mandatory Vaccinations

A massive line of people waiting for a COVID-19 test at the University of Wyoming
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Radio
A line of University of Wyoming faculty, staff, and students wait to take their mandatory COVID-19 test before the university begins its fall semester.

With students returning on campus for the fall semester this Monday, August 23, University of Wyoming (UW) officials are concerned about a COVID-19 outbreak. To mitigate this, UW is mandating masks on campus. Wyoming Public Radio's Adlynn Jamaludin talked to some students on campus about their thoughts on if the university should go another step and make vaccinations mandatory.

Cade Freels: I support mandatory vaccinations for students on campus. Mandatory vaccinations are the best way to keep students, faculty and staff safe on campus.

James Lilly: I think we desperately need the vaccines to be mandated, because otherwise there's no way to be sure that we're all safe. And I think the President and everyone on the board of trustees are cowards for not doing it yet, because none of them have to be here on campus, teaching or being around students, so there's really no risk to them. But they'd rather see people die than lose out on another year of tuition.

Afiq Suhaimi: I think the reason why vaccines should be mandated, it's because that's the only way we know we can ensure that people are safe.

Taryn Bradley: I think that mandatory vaccinations are really within the spirit in the heart of our University of Wyoming values, and even the cowboy community. I think that a mandatory vaccination would make it so that we can ensure the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff, which I think is something that we should really honor and value here at the University.

Jordan Bartlett: I think vaccines need to be mandated. I think that the University would rather some students die and lose money, but someone who has to [be a] Teaching Assistant to be able to make money and stay here I have to be around undergraduate students and I don't know if people are vaccinated.

Kinsey Hein: When I think of the vaccines, and especially making them mandatory, I like to think of it as protection because vaccines have just always protected us since they've been created. You know, we don't have to worry about things like chickenpox, the measles polio, because we have gotten a hold of and tamp down on those diseases because of vaccines. So I like to think of vaccines as protection. And so obviously, the more people we can have vaccinated at the University of Wyoming, the more protected people will be, especially those who you know, can't get the vaccine for medical reasons or are immunocompromised, who really need other people to support them in this fight against COVID-19.

Those who opposed vaccinations and mask mandates said they'd prefer not to talk on tape or be identified.

This story is supported by a grant through Wyoming EPSCoR and the National Science Foundation.

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