After the chaos of the past year with the COVID-19 outbreak, there is finally an end in sight with the arrival of vaccines.
However, much is still to be done before the student body returns to in-person classes next fall.
Although in-person classes will start to bring back the long-lost sense of normalcy for a college student on campus, there are still many concerns with faculty safety and the possibility of another outbreak.
This leads to the question of what requirements should be put in place for the safety of students and faculty alike.
Word has been passed around about the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students to return to in-person classes and campus events.
To gain insight into the opinions of the student body, the Technique interviewed multiple Tech students about their opinions on a vaccine requirement for in-person classes.
Cassie Baker, a second-year LMC major, immediately chimed in on the topic as it is one she has been contemplating over the past few weeks.
Baker herself has already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My personal opinion is that it should be mandatory that we receive the COVID vaccine before attending in person classes,” Baker said. “However, because we attend a public institution I don’t think that they can mandate that everyone receive the vaccine.”
“But if people are refusing to receive the vaccine I don’t think they should have the luxury of attending classes in-person and putting others at risk.”
“I believe Tech should continue offering a virtual option for classes for those who are uncomfortable with attending classes in-person as well as those who wish to not be vaccinated.”
Third-year CS Lindsay Ashby also took a pro-vaccine position similar to Baker.
“I do believe students should have to be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes. However, I understand some people’s hesitation because the vaccine is so experimental,” Ashby said.
“Perhaps Tech could wait until the spring semester to make the vaccine a requirement since there will be more research and understanding by then.”
“I also believe that there should still be an online option for students who do not wish to receive the vaccine or those who still feel unsure about returning to normalcy.”
Second-year AE Dylan Hughes also offered his opinion on a vaccine requirement for in-person classes. Hughes contemplated the morals of enforcing the COVID vaccine on members of campus.
“I think that Tech should mandate the vaccine just like they do with all other vaccines,” Hughes said.
“It should be required unless students have personal or religious reasons not to. It should not be forced on people who have their own reasons to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine or any vaccines in general.”
First-year BIO Lexie Edwards also provided her opinion on a vaccination requirement for in-person attendance.
“Students should be vaccinated to return to in-person classes in order to ensure that they and everyone around them is safe from COVID-19,” Edwards said. “Because not everyone has the privilege to get the vaccine, requiring those who can makes not only our classrooms but our campus safer and healthier.”
“Getting the vaccine also promotes the idea that the students of this campus trust in the science that they learn and the innovation that their professors and peers are fostering.”
Second-year ALIS Laynie McGrail was also pro-vaccine mandate, which seems to be a popular opinion on campus.
“I think requiring vaccines would be ideal for ensuring the safety of every student and professor in attendance if we were to go back to fully in-person classes,” McGrail said. “In the case of most large gatherings, this might not be feasible due to the lack of accessibility for certain people, whether it’s availability of the vaccine or transportation to vaccination centers.”
“However, I believe that since Georgia Tech is offering vaccines to each individual on campus, and will continue to do so as long as vaccines are available, a mandate on vaccinations for attendance isn’t unreasonable.”
Overall, many students believe a vaccine mandate for in-person classes would be a reasonable request from Tech.
However, there is still much to consider in regards to moral rationales for not receiving the vaccine since we cannot force it on those with personal reasons not to receive it.
It is still up in the air what the requirements will be for in-person classes this fall, but thus far, a vaccine mandate being implemented does not seem out of the question.