Minnesota State University, Mankato students are back on campus, creating a significant influx of students compared to last school year.
To no surprise the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the number of students on campus as well as the social and sporting events that occurred at MNSU.
Although with more students on campus, that also means there will potentially be an increase of COVID cases, despite requiring masks in all indoor MNSU buildings regardless of vaccination status.
Starting September 8, “All Minnesota State employees are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status or participate in weekly testing for COVID-19 ” in an announcement issued Aug 27 by MNSU President Edward Inch .
As for students, those who work on campus, live on campus, or participate in campus programs and activities must also abide by the same policies starting Oct 4.
“I feel like if you’re someone who goes out a lot you should get tested for covid,” Anna Dvorak, freshmen at MNSU, said.
“I got it so I can be on campus and in-person for my classes without having to worry about it,” Hailey Hoernemann, freshmen at MNSU shared.
Although some think otherwise, “I think it’s up to the student to decide if they wanna get tested or not,” Jack Fridges, junior at MNSU, said.
The reason for this is so that MNSU will remain in-person as well as allow students to participate in various events throughout the year.
Natalie Schuette, MNSU’s COVID-19 Case Manager, shares the variety of COVID-19 resources and options for students on campus.
“This year we do offer the vaccine to students and staff on campus as well as free saliva kits for testing at the Student Health Services,” Schuette shared.
“We’re really pushing for vaccines this year, while also making sure students stay off campus if they’re not feeling well since we all want to go back to normal as soon as possible. The more vaccines and healthy people we have on campus the more normal our school year will be.”
Student Health Services offers all three vaccine options to students as they also offered walk-in appointments during the Campus and Community Fair at the campus mall on Wednesday.
MNSU is strongly encouraging everyone who is able to get the vaccine to do so, especially those who wish to participate in MNSU athletics.
“I’m fully vaccinated since I play football here and that was also a big reason why I got it,” Cayden Lovette, freshmen at MNSU said.
However, the NCAA falls under a more strict umbrella of policies regarding athletes vaccination status.
Makayla Jackson, MNSU student athlete, shared her thoughts on the different COVID-19 policies pertaining to athletes.
“My thoughts on MSU athletics pushing for all athletes to get vaccinated is a bit in the middle. I can understand both sides and I can understand why some athletes, including myself, don’t want to get vaccinated,” Jackson said.
MNSU athletes do get tested once or twice a week if they do not provide proof of vaccination as well as have to pay to get tested.
“The pricing of getting covid tested every week is $30. That’s a bit absurd to me because some people don’t have the money to pay $30-$60 out of pocket every week for an entire season,” said Jackson.
Paying upward of $30 every week can add up quickly, especially for those still in college.
“My guess is the majority of the athletes are going to get vaccinated. I think every athlete is deciding to get it now and save themselves the discomfort of being tested every week as well as potentially not being able to travel with their team due to not having the vaccine,” Jackson stated.
For more information and resources you can call the Student Health Services Hotline at 507-389-5591 and contact them if you have further questions. If you’re looking for vaccination centers near you, you can find them at VaccineConnector.mn.gov.