Noor Esseili & Brian Gornick
Just as students were forced to make the adjustment from in-person to virtual courses at the start of the pandemic, some students are finding it difficult to adjust back into the rhythm of things as the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s campus begins increasing their in-person course offerings for the fall term.
As UM-Dearborn transitions back onto campus this fall term, with more than 50 percent of
courses being taught in-person or in hybrid fashion, a COVID-19 vaccination mandate has been implemented for all students, faculty, and staff this past August.
The vaccination mandate was implemented for the university to continue delivering a quality
education while keeping the campus community safe and healthy during the COVID-19
A survey was administered via Google Forms to gather information on how UM-Dearborn's
vaccine mandate has impacted students across campus. A total of 24 CASL and COB students responded to the survey, which helped provide a consensus of students’ views of the mandate.
78.2 percent of the survey respondents indicated they were fully vaccinated, 60.9 percent of
which voluntarily received the vaccine before the mandate was enacted.
Although there was a large percentage who voluntarily got the vaccine, about 37.5 percent of student respondents stated that they did not support UM-Dearborn’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. One student wrote: “I feel that no one should be forced to vaccinate themselves in order to receive a good education.” Some students felt that the choice to be vaccinated should be left to each individual.
Roughly 50 percent of respondents stated that UM-Dearborn’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate did not impact them in any way.
The remaining 50 percent of respondents who claim they have been impacted by the vaccination mandate had varying views. One student recalled growing up in an anti-vaccine household and feels “ultimately happy to have received the vaccine.” Another even noted, “I got the vaccine so that I could return to campus … it makes me sad not being able to see my friends or professors' faces, but I comply because it makes others feel safe.”
A few students also brought up grievances with UM-Dearborn’s indoor mask mandate, stating that they felt it was unnecessary when everyone on campus is already vaccinated or in the process of being vaccinated.
To further mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the University of Michigan-Dearborn also imposed the ResponsiBLUE screening check. ResponsiBLUE is an app developed for UM-Dearborn students, faculty and staff that helps support campus health and safety by providing a quick daily symptom check for COVID-19.
More than 60 percent of the respondents indicated that the ResponsiBLUE daily health screening app did not impact how safe they felt on campus. One student even admitted that students could just lie on the form, and the campus community wouldn’t know if they were actually sick.