In their April 28 meeting, Faculty Senate members discussed the possibility of Texas State requiring students to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination prior to returning for the fall 2021 semester.
Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a professor in the Department of English, believes the Senate should support the mandatory vaccination of the student body, adding Texas State should follow the lead of other universities that plan on requiring students to get the vaccine.
“I would like to raise the issue of requiring vaccinations for students coming back in the fall," Bell-Metereau says. "Many universities around the country are requiring vaccination. I think it’s an issue that we should be paying attention to as a university.”
Rachel Davenport, a professor in the Department of Biology, agrees students should be vaccinated but acknowledges that it would be impossible for Texas State to require vaccination due to current statewide legislation.
“Texas and five other states passed laws that make it impossible for us to require vaccines, so that's going to be a dead-end,” Davenport says. “We're not going to be able to require vaccines for our students, but we can certainly encourage them. I don't think we’re ever going to be able to require that.”
Bell-Metereau believes that by going public with their concerns about students being unvaccinated and sharing their disdain for the current laws that prevent the university from requiring vaccinations, it may be possible to sway lawmakers to change their decision.
“The point is that we can still express our objections to this, to these state lawmakers, and it's sometimes these things that get people all worked up that get passed in the House or in the Senate,” Bell-Metereau says. “If [lawmakers] get enough word from a lot of people, they change their minds about things. They've changed their mind about the STAAR test and all kinds of things like that."