Vaccine mandate is concerning

Dear Editor:

I am writing to you about the new requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations to take part in an on-campus learning experience for the fall semester. 

On Sept. 9 we were all notified by the Contra Costa Community College District that we would be required to present proof of our vaccination status for the next semester for those of us who wished to attend in-person education or use any of the school’s facilities or services. 

While requiring such verification, we were also notified that $150 will be provided to students who submit their vaccination information, as an “incentive for helping to keep our communities safe.” 

However, this once again brings up the debate regarding vaccinations and whether or not a person should be required by an institution or company to receive one.

I feel that although this requirement from the district may have been made with good intentions, it is somewhat unfair to those who don’t feel comfortable with getting the vaccine but wish to receive an in-person form of education. Although I do not agree with the opinions of these people, as I am vaccinated, I do think that the success and safety throughout the remainder of the fall 2021 semester should be the deciding factor in whether or not these requirements need to be made. 

In this past year and a half, the opinions on virtual education have been rather mixed. While working for some, the effectiveness has been in question for others, leaving them with a need to return to a more traditional form of education as soon as possible. For this reason, I do not believe that our students should be limited by such a requirement, but allow an equal opportunity for those who value their education.

I believe that a fair alternative to such requirements is to require that all students who choose not to provide their vaccination information, or receive the vaccine, instead be required to receive COVID-19 tests on a regular basis, similar to the requirements of those attending on-campus classes at many UC’s and state colleges. I think this method works much better, as it promotes and produces a COVID-19 free campus and education, making it safer for everyone attending, while also providing the same access to such education and facilities as those who choose to provide their vaccination information. 

— Joseph Giddings, LMC student