Presidential Task Force will not mandate COVID-19 vaccine


Photo by: Josh Meredith

Students and individuals in the university community will not be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This saline drawn syringe from the April vaccination clinic in the Screaming Eagles Arena represents the amount of the Pfizer vaccine administered in each dose.

Shelby Clark, Editor-in-Chief

President Ronald Rochon announced the Presidential Task Force will not require students or faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rochon made this announcement at the university meeting Tuesday. The meeting was held around 9 a.m. Tuesday on Zoom for administration, faculty and staff. 

Rochon said he has been stopped by people on and off-campus both begging him to mandate or not to mandate the vaccine. 

“We understand that everyone on campus has a right to make their choice,” said Rochon. 

All individuals entering a university building will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice. 

Rochon said that he was fully vaccinated and encouraged attendees to think about the campus community when making the decision to be vaccinated. 

“We want people to feel supported and feel the kinds of understanding that we all deserve,” Rochon said. 

Rex Strange, chair of the faculty senate, said he was following Rochon’s example to publicly disclose his vaccination status. Strange said he was fully vaccinated. 

Kindra Strupp, vice president for marketing and communication, Jacob Hansen, administrative senate chair for the 2021-2022 academic year and Rhonda Moore, custodial services shift supervisor, said they were fully vaccinated in the meeting as well. 

Vanderburgh County is categorized orange as of around midnight Monday, according to the Indiana COVID-19 dashboard. Vanderburgh County is at an advisory level with around 470 weekly COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. 

The University Health Center is providing free Pfizer vaccines to all individuals as a public vaccination office for Indiana. Appointments for vaccinations can be made at the university’s website.