Will CSU be next with COVID-19 vaccine requirements?

Should CSU join seven other Ohio public universities in mandating vaccines for students?

Mass vaccine clinic at the Wolstein Center earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com

With students returning to campus for the semester in recent weeks, many Ohio universities have made headlines regarding campus policies on mandated COVID-19 vaccines, causing students, staff, and faculty alike at Cleveland State University to wonder if-and when- CSU may follow suit.

As many expected, Ohio State University was the first public school in the state to require the vaccine for the entire campus community. Their decision came the day after Pfizer received full FDA approval in late August. This allowed a workaround to House Bill 244, a bill signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in mid-July that prevents public state schools from mandating COVID-19 vaccines without “full” FDA approval.

The University of Akron, Kent State University, Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and most recently, Bowling Green State University, joined OSU in requiring the vaccination.

Case Western Reserve University, a private institution, was the first in the state to require a fully vaccinated campus community. Other private institutions, such as John Carroll University, The College of Wooster, Denison University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Otterbein University, and Xavier University, are also requiring their campus community to get fully vaccinated this semester.

For the roughly 1100 students that live in CSU dorms, a vaccine mandate is not news. It was communicated in April that vaccinations would be required for all residents. This requirement was quietly retracted shortly after House Bill 244 passed in July, despite it not going into effect until Oct. 12, well past move-in dates.

The reporting of many media outlets claim CSU remains the first in the state to have mandated vaccines. This is likely because the retraction was never publicized, only made clear to staff and prospective residents who asked.

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