WSU to require proof of vaccination, exemption before fall semester

Registration hold will be placed on myWSU if proof or exemption not submitted by Nov. 1

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

WSU students are required to submit proof of vaccination or request exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine to the university before the fall semester in order to attend in-person classes and activities on campus. 

Students living in university housing must submit their proof or exemption by Aug. 6, according to a WSU press release

If students do not get vaccinated, their housing accommodations might be changed, said Phil Weiler, WSU vice president of marketing and communications. Students might not get to choose which residence hall they will live in or they might have to follow tighter restrictions in the hall, like mask use and social distancing. 

Students who do not submit proof or exemption by Nov. 1 will receive a registration hold on their myWSU account for spring semester, he said. This especially applies to students who do not live in university housing. 

Students can be exempt from vaccination for medical, religious and personal reasons, Weiler said. He does not know what the request process will be or when it will be available. 

“We’ve heard a lot of folks in the community and across the country saying, ‘This needs to be my choice,’” Weiler said. “We agree. It does need to be a choice, but we need people to make a choice.” 

Students who contracted COVID-19 must still submit proof of vaccination or get an exemption, he said. 

It is likely that submitting proof of vaccination for COVID-19 will work similarly to submitting proof of vaccination for the mumps, rubella and measles. Submissions will likely be accepted by Cougar Health Services, he said. 

Weiler said university officials hope students will get vaccinated. 

“But if somebody just reveals strongly that they should not have to be vaccinated, we’re not going to get into an argument with them,” he said. 

Weiler said students should at least get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before leaving Pullman for the summer. They can get the second dose in their hometowns. Almost 3,000 students have been fully vaccinated so far. 

Students and faculty can schedule a vaccination appointment with CHS or on Whitman County Public Health’s website.

Weiler said he is hoping there will not be a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in the fall when students return to Pullman. If there is, the university will implement some lockdown measures, he said. 

WSU’s full press release about their decision can be read on WSU Insider.