I-U is dialing back the COVID vaccination requirement it announced last week.
I-U will still require students and staff to be vaccinated to attend class on campus. But it won’t require them to prove it, a step Attorney General Todd Rokita last week argued would violate a new state law. Instead, they’ll have to sign a form saying they’ve gotten the shot.
The university will also borrow a page from Purdue and give students a chance at a soon-to-be-announced prize if they upload proof of their vaccination anyway.
Purdue announced last week it would award a year’s tuition to 10 randomly selected students who provide documentation they’ve been vaccinated.
I-U spokesman Chuck Carney says the university has trusted its students throughout the pandemic and expects them to be “responsible” in signing the vaccination statement, even without a requirement that they prove it.
The change comes after 35 Republican state senators sent a letter to President Michael McRobbie urging him to rescind the vaccination order, which warned students their registration would be canceled if they didn’t get their shots. The letter included an unsubtle reminder that legislators are in charge of deciding I-U’s state funding. Carney acknowledges there’s been “a lot of feedback” not only from legislators but from students and parents, beginning when the policy was still being drafted.
Students can request an exemption from the policy for religious reasons, or for medical reasons with a doctor’s note. Students receiving exemptions will have to wear masks and observe social distancing. The university plans to lift those requirements for vaccinated students.