SPU to require COVID-19 vaccine

New poll shows majority of students already vaccinated

Aubrey Rhoadarmer, Staff Reporter

Data visualization by Marissa Lordahl

On Friday May 7th, Seattle Pacific University’s Senior Leadership Council sent an email to the student body announcing that all undergraduate and graduate students will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 by Aug. 1, 2021 in order to attend the university in the fall.

Last week, 113 SPU students responded to a poll conducted by the Falcon asking whether they had received a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the poll, 78% of SPU students have already received at least one shot of a vaccine, while 22% have not.

Second year philosophy and sociology major Shaely Spilker is one student who has already been vaccinated. Spilker is fully in support of SPU’s vaccination requirement for Autumn quarter.

“I think this is the next step toward getting back to ‘normal’ and safely hanging out with friends and doing other activities,” Spilker said.

First year physiology major Joshua Anderson is another student who has already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

I wanted to get vaccinated in part because I’m ready for the world to return to a certain sense of normalcy. It’s been a long few months, and the vaccine has definitely been a Godsend,” Anderson said.

He encouraged his fellow classmates to get the vaccine for the sake of those who are at a higher risk for infection from the disease.

“It’s such a simple thing that we can do to help those around us,” he said.

Although the majority of SPU students have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations, there are some students who have not and are not planning to get vaccinated at all. Because first year ecology major Anna Gillis is not in any of the demographics that are at the highest risk for contracting COVID-19 she has decided not to be vaccinated.

“In all of the data that’s been gathered, [COVID] targets elders, obese, and immune deficiency people. I am not in that risk zone so I feel like I don’t need it,” Gillis said.

Gillis wants to know more about the long term effects of the vaccine before she would feel comfortable getting it. She also disagrees with SPU’s vaccination policy.

“I don’t think they should require students to take it. Personally it would make more sense for them to recommend, but not need it,” Gillis said.

The email sent to students explained that although vaccination does not completely remove the risk of infection for COVID-19, SPU believes it is a vital part of returning to a normal way of life on campus. 

The university has also created a “Vaccination requirements: FAQs” page on SPU’s website for students who have further questions.