Being vaccinated is not mandatory to return to MRU
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
Mount Royal University (MRU) is one of the many Alberta universities not requiring students and staff to be vaccinated when returning to campus this fall. However, many of them seem to be not on board with this decision.
Included in the COVID-19 information page of MRU is a series of questions about vaccinations and how the university encourages students, staff and employees to be vaccinated but is not mandating them.
The page also says that vaccination is the “best way to protect themselves and the community from serious illness due to COVID-19”. It also emphasized how mass vaccination decreases the risk of community transmission.
However, in an article from CTV News, MRU general council and university secretary Amy Nixon also said that some students may be required vaccines for their practicums off-site due to the nature of their learning environments.
Nixon also says that they continue to have conversations with their colleagues in the post-secondary sector and Alberta Health Services as to how they can bring vaccines to the campus in a bigger way.
In that same article, MRU staff member Christine Neave said that she is 100 per cent in favour of vaccinations being mandatory on campus. According to her, it makes her feel safe and that the far-reaching effects would be immensely beneficial for everyone.
Aylwin Vocal, a 3rd year nursing student, also agrees that vaccines should be mandatory. He believes that the possibility of a fourth wave due to the highly infectious delta variant is enough to put everyone going back to school and its surrounding community at higher risk without vaccination.
“Mandatory vaccination brings hope that we could finally go back to normal and study without the academic, social, and emotional stress that some have experienced with online learning.”, he added.
Vocal also said that it’s irrational for the government to not require vaccines in academic institutions due to the many limitations of indoor learning.
According to information from Alberta Health Services last April, there have been 28 schools in Calgary with an outbreak of more than 10 cases. It can be largely attributed to how crowded the conditions are at an educational institution.
Vocal added that physical distancing can only go so far and it will be most likely that students will stick to online learning, which can only lead to stress on themselves and their household members.
“Clearly, the benefits outweigh the risk by making vaccines mandatory. All of these reasons are adequate as to why public health should be prioritized over the wishes of the few.” Vocal added.