No mandate, but WMU institutes COVID testing policy

WMU is bucking a trend by universities to require staff and students be vaccinated against COVID.

Unvaccinated students and staff at Western Michigan University will have to put up with being tested for COVID-19 weekly, but that’s the closest thing to a vaccine mandate that will come out the school.

WMU President Edward Montgomery made the announcement on Thursday. University leaders announced last week that masks will be required on campus following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“Students who do not comply with the testing protocol will face sanctions administered through the Office of Student Conduct. Noncompliance among faculty and staff will be addressed in accordance with collective bargaining agreements and employee policies,” wrote Montgomery.

The school faces mounting pressure to flat-out require staff and students be vaccinated. Other schools in the state, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, have already instituted such policies. And the union representing the school’s faculty has endorsed such a measure.

WMU leadership has been reticent to make the vaccine mandatory, though it is making inoculations free and easy to get at its health center.

[WMUK, MLive]

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