WI universities stop short of COVID vaccine mandate for students

As universities announce their fall reopening plans, some around the country are requiring students to have COVID-19 vaccines before returning to campus. But schools in Wisconsin are stopping short of a mandate -- instead, encouraging a shot before coming back to class.

"In many ways we’re just going to be fuller in-person than we were this past year," said Kimberlie Goldsberry, Carthage College Dean of Student. "At this point in time, that is not being required. We’ve been encouraging, we’ve also been creating opportunities for our students."

Kimberlie Goldsberry

Kimberlie Goldsberry

On the east coast, Yale and Columbia universities recently told students they will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if they wish to remain on campus in the fall.

"Yes, I think college students should absolutely be required to have vaccine before they enter college in the fall," said Gregory Demuri of UW Health.

Gregory Demuri

Gregory Demuri

UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee will not mandate coronavirus vaccines. The chancellors recently touched on the topic.

"We hope by this fall the majority of our students, faculty, and staff are vaccinated. We'll continue to have testing," said Mark Mone, UWM Chancellor.

Mark Mone

Mark Mone

"We're going to be strongly encouraging this. We're probably going to be asking anyone who doesn't vaccinate to test regularly," said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

Rebecca Blank

Rebecca Blank

At Marquette University, there is a vaccination push with signs around the campus.

"It just kind of alleviates that pressure and anxiety related to COVID," said Isabel Silvar, a Marquette student. 

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A Marquette spokeswoman told FOX6 News the university has not yet made a decision about the fall.

"I know the benefits of vaccines. I wanted to take the step and keep the people around me safe and do that for myself," said Marissa Nevarez, a Marquette student.

UW-Milwaukee's chancellor said 75% of system employees and around 20% of students are already vaccinated.

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