SJCC requires proof of vaccine

Holds to be placed on educational records for non-compliance

Masked SJCC student journalists Daijunay Turner and Gabe Chavarro prepare to call a Jaguars football game while SJCC broadcast journalism instructor Betsy Gebhart.offers some last minute advice.

The San Jose City College vaccine mandate requires all students and employees to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination by Nov. 1.

This mandate was instituted on Aug. 31, but there are  exceptions for medical and religious reasons.

“Students will not be administratively withdrawn from classes this semester as we complete verification of vaccination documentation and exemption requests,” SJCC President Rowena Tomaneng wrote in a letter. “Students who submit falsified information may face discipline up to and including expulsion under the Student Code of Conduct.”

Students have mixed opinions about this mandate.

Duneshka Elias, 21, global studies major, said she thinks the mandate is the right thing to do.

“This pandemic is something I really have to take seriously because many people have died and it’s also affecting young people now,” Elias said. “Everyone has to take responsibility.”

While many students agree with the mandate, it does pose a conflict for others as they try to navigate personal beliefs and reservations while remaining committed to their obligations as a student.

“I don’t believe it is the right thing to do,” said student athlete Anthony Fernandez, 18, business major. “They should at least have another option where you could get tested weekly.”

There are no disciplinary actions for students who have not received their vaccination or submitted the proof, but they will have a hold placed on their educational records beginning Nov, 1, according to the SJCC website.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet, so it’s better to just be safe rather than sorry. There are a lot of people who have younger siblings at home or just older people such as grandparents who really have to stay safe,” said Adilene Banuelos, 18, kinesiology major.

There is no exception for online only students. This mandate includes all students of SJCC and Evergreen Valley College.

“We want to really start reintegrating students back onto campus and start redoing club charterships and events; however, we are doing it in a way to keep everyone safe,” said Robert Andrade, a student trustee.

SJCC has taken a number of steps to protect its campus from an outbreak of the virus. Wellness kiosks have been placed at the entrance of each building and throughout the campus. The kiosks, which provide sanitizer and face masks, are available to all.

The SJCC Student Health Services website also provides resources for those looking to get vaccinated or anyone hoping to learn more about the COVID-19 virus.

According to the official California state website, as of Oct. 4 there have been 4,519,467 confirmed cases and 69,027 deaths. In Santa Clara County, there have been 141,840 cases and 1869 deaths. The site also reported that 49,970,814 vaccines have been administered, which is 78.9% of the population.

California has been lauded as a leader nationally for its efforts to vaccinate its population and specifically the San Francisco Bay Area.

According to the same website, “From Sept. 12 to Sept. 18, unvaccinated people were 8.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people.”

While cases locally have dropped considerably in comparison to the rest of the country, some are still worried about what they see as an ongoing battle. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told CBS on Sunday, Oct, 3 that it was “too soon to tell” whether families should gather for the upcoming holidays.

I feel like it’s OK to have a campus vaccination mandate since they’re doing it at jobs now,” said Melanie Varas, a 20-year-old psychology major.” I personally wear a mask inside and outside because I like to protect the people around me.”