Posted on: October 15, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Marcus Collins

Moraine culinary students Carmen Ortiz and Bernadette Sarabia show their green Cleared4Class screens to show proof of their vaccinations/negative COVID tests.

By Mariah Trujillo, News Editor, and Ethan Holesha, Managing Editor

Using both the carrot and stick approach toward getting students vaccinated against COVID-19 appears to be working at Moraine.

Across the country, governments and private businesses have been luring people with “carrots” — incentives ranging from million-dollar lotteries and scholarships to free food and drinks. A system of “sticks” in the form of vaccine mandates is also being used, such as the one issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker requiring all higher education students and staff to be vaccinated.

Here at Moraine, as of Oct. 11, the number of students taking advantage of the incentive of a single tuition credit in return for being vaccinated was 4,089, or roughly two-thirds of the entire student population.

Going by a different measure, however, it would appear that just over 3,000 students have been vaccinated. But that number (3,096) only takes into account the students who have submitted their vaccination through Cleared4Class. 

“It’s important to note that we are talking about two different systems and processes,” said Margaret Lehner, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement. “The 3,096 number is from Cleared4Class. This is representative of students who have reported their vaccination status through that system in order to meet the mandate.”

Since the mandate does not require online students to report their vaccinations, Cleared4Class does not accurately represent the vaccination status among the student population. The number of students to take advantage of the free credit, however, covers all student types, both online and in-person.

When the incentive was first announced, only 18 percent of students took advantage of the opportunity and reported vaccination.

Back in early September, Troy Swanson, faculty association president and library department chair, said, “I was in a meeting and they said that out of our 6,000 students, only 1,100 students have taken advantage of that free tuition credit by being vaccinated.”

Nearly a month after the Governor’s mandate went into effect, the number of students vaccinated has more than tripled, and the percentage has skyrocketed to 68 percent.