Photo by Julia Kelley

Students at Otterbein University have to be either vaccinated or have an approved religious or medical exemption form to register for classes in the 2022 spring semester. This choice that was made by Otterbein is for the betterment of the University. 

Otterbein University opened registration for spring semester 2022 on October 20. Students who are vaccinated or have an approved exemption form will have open access to register for spring semester with no issues. However; the students who are not vaccinated were able to register during the normal registration window but then a hold was placed on their account on Monday, November 1. 

Jennifer Bechtold, Assistant Dean for Student Success, and her staff, came to the agreement that students will need to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption to continue classes Otterbein. 

“Students who do not submit the necessary proof of vaccination or receive an exemption will have their schedule dropped on January 5,” Bechtold said.

          

Implementing this mandate is helping Otterbein work towards returning to the pre-pandemic world, and this is going to make the campus safer for everyone. 

The students who are not vaccinated and have an exemption form started taking asymptomatic testing the week of November 1. This is a protocol to make sure that the students who are not vaccinated are not spreading COVID-19. 

This decision made by Otterbein may cause some mixed emotions in some students. However, the university needs to do what is best for their students and faculty to ensure Otterbein is doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

          

The COVID-19 vaccine has helped so many individuals around the world and it also has saved so many of our loved ones. According to a new study from Yale University, the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States may have helped prevent up to 279,000 deaths and 1.25 million hospitalizations. 

This past year has definitely been a struggle, however I see that this vaccine has the potential to continue to save lives and keep the communities safe. 

Otterbein junior, Kelsie Kinsey, supports the mandated vaccination and expresses her beliefs on the requirement for registration.

“I think the vaccine is a really useful thing to enforce on college campuses because people are extremely close together at times and it's a useful tool to stop the spread,” Kinsey said. 

This vaccine is saving, helping, and protecting lives. Otterbein has done what is right to make sure they are continuing to help and protect students. This mandated decision is going to be worth it in the end.