Advance Notice: Briefs

MSU isn’t mandating COVID vaccinations — but students are mandated to do a survey on them

By: - July 22, 2021 2:47 pm

Beaumont Tower, Michigan State University | Susan J. Demas

Unlike some other colleges, Michigan State University hasn’t mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for those on campus going into the 2021-22 school year. But students on Thursday did receive a “mandatory COVID-19 vaccine survey” in their email.

“To help us prepare for the fall, we are requiring all students to fill out a brief survey on whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. wrote. “This information will be essential for our planning and to inform the public health decisions we need to make as we approach the fall semester. For example, if the prevalence of the virus and/or hospitalizations increases in our community, we may have to require masks indoors or participation in the Early Detection Program for those who are unvaccinated. A higher vaccination rate in our community would make it less likely we would need to re-implement any safety measures.”

Stanley also encouraged students to visit MSU’s vaccine information website and noted all members of the MSU community can receive a free COVID-19 vaccination through the MSU Health Care Pharmacy.

“Science shows us that a high vaccination rate is our surest way to mitigate the spread of the virus and variants,” Stanley wrote. “We continue to encourage and emphasize the importance of vaccinations for all who are medically able.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.