Students worry TRU is not doing enough

There could be issues with truthfulness when requiring the TRU community to self-disclose vaccination status in good faith

The Omega asked students to share their opinion concerning TRU’s lack of vaccine certification to enter classrooms after CJFC Today shared TRU professor, Katie Sykes, who decided to conduct her large lectures virtually despite the university’s expectation of in-person instruction. 

Sykes chose to conduct her lectures virtually after receiving an email explaining that proof of vaccination is required to access non-essential services on campus but is not required to enter classrooms of any size. 

Sykes is asking that TRU implement a strict vaccine mandate. As of now, TRU is not requiring students to provide proof of vaccination to attend classes or another required academic programming such as labs but are instead requiring students, faculty and staff “self-disclose” their vaccination status, “in good faith,” or voluntarily take frequent rapid tests on campus to further support the safety of the university community. TRU is trusting that those on campus tell the truth and do their part to keep others safe. 

The Omega asked students to share any opinions related to issues with truthfulness when requiring students, faculty and staff self-disclose vaccination status in good faith. 

Fourth-year history student, Sam McQuillan-Gordon stated that “requesting students disclose their status is as about good as useless.” He worries that without strict mandates concerning vaccinations on campus, those who have not been “following the rules or doing their part” will continue to put others in danger and might even lie about their vaccination status without proper steps to certify if individuals are telling the truth. 

McQuillan-Gordon feels that although mask mandates on campus are sure to keep him and his fellow students safe, he would be able to breathe more so easily and relax a bit more if a strict vaccine mandate was put in place. 

Third-year social work student, Lilly Chisholm echoed McQuillan-Gordon in saying “that self-disclosure of vaccination status rather than requiring proof of vaccination is libel to lead to dishonesty amongst unvaccinated students.”

Third-year nursing student, Colby Petrie, stated that she “would hope TRU update procedure and require physical proof of vaccination such as a vaccine card to enter classrooms.” Petrie like other students had hoped TRU would require students to get vaccinated in order to attend on-campus classes this fall. 

Third-year history student, Marc Peron, went as so far as to say the school’s hope that students, staff and faculty disclose their vaccination status in good faith is “ridiculous.” Peron imagines that the school will follow suit as further government mandates are put in place but until then, “it is pointless to enforce lax mandates.” He assumes that now that the BC Vaccine Card is up and running it should be easier for TRU to implement some sort of certification. 

Just last week, Kamloops matched its previous record-setting week with 249 active COVID-19 cases. As the delta variant continues to infect community members, TRU might have to update policy and certain procedures on campus to keep students, staff and faculty safe. 

Until then, continue to wear your masks and social distance whenever possible.