Multiple professors wish for El Camino vaccine mandate during Board of Trustees meeting

Many professors at El Camino College are pleading for a vaccination mandate for all individuals returning to campus.

During the public comment session at the Aug. 16 Board of Trustees meeting, Ann O’Brien, executive director of marketing and communications read comments from El Camino College (ECC) professors expressing wishes for a vaccination mandate for everyone returning to campus during the fall 2021 semester.

These comments came after California State University, University of California and other South Bay community colleges like Long Beach City College announced plans to create vaccine mandates for everyone going on their campuses, while ECC has not yet officially established a mandate at this time.

“Given the persistence of COVID-19, ECC must do everything it can to protect the students served and the personnel employed by the institution,” wrote Teresa Palos, Ph.D, professor of biology and microbiology to the Board of Trustees.

Although the professors asked for vaccine mandates, many of them, like computer information systems instructor Khai Lu, gave various solutions to get mandates to work, such as finding the unvaccinated and giving them incentives to get the vaccine.

“Estimate the person per person cost of testing the unvaccinated community members every week and offer cash incentives to vaccinate those individuals up to the cost of testing for an entire semester, 16 weeks of testing,” Lu wrote.

Other professors like English professor Adrienne Sharp ask for strict policies, such as all campus individuals getting tested weekly, along with a vaccination mandate to keep ECC campus safe.

“Three students who tested positive earlier this week and who now must quarantine along with all those who had contact with them strongly indicates that we will see these numbers multiply hundreds of times over if we do not do not institute a vaccine mandate and a careful testing program,” Sharp wrote.

Many appreciated how ECC is currently helping give students in underserved communities access to COVID-19 information and vaccines.

Multiple professors that signed on one comment wrote about how ECC is providing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on a walk-in basis and how it is a key to equity for students due to its easy availability and distribution.

Although many professors have different wishes on how to keep the ECC campus community safe, they all share the desire to have a vaccine mandate in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We must do our part to break the chain of transmission. A vaccination mandate is now a necessity,” Palos wrote.