As colleges and universities across the country prepare to welcome students back to campus, administrators are working to prevent outbreaks of the Wuhan coronavirus through a range of means. One college in Buckhannon, West Virginia, has come up with a plan to charge students who can’t prove they’ve been vaccinated before arriving on campus, rather than requiring vaccination to attend fall classes in-person.
According to a COVID-19 update posted to the West Virginia Wesleyan College website, students will be “charged a non-refundable $750 Covid fee for the Fall 2021 semester” if they are unable to show proof of at least one dose of a Wuhan coronavirus vaccine before September 7.
After being charged the COVID fee, students “will be required to undergo weekly surveillance testing” conducted by school officials, the cost of which “will be covered by the Covid Fee charged to all unvaccinated students.”
Unvaccinated students “will be subject to student judicial action if they do not adhere to the ‘Arrival on Campus’ policies regarding wearing masks, COVID-19 testing, social distancing, etc.” This guidance requires unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff to “wear a mask indoors at all times and maintain a social distance, including in classrooms, dining hall, residence halls, wellness center, and at all indoor venues on campus.”
An additional $250 fee will be charged to students who test positive for or are exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus if they’re unable to make housing arrangements off-campus to quarantine.
West Virginia Wesleyan College will charge unvaccinated students an extra $750 in fees “solely for the purpose of cost recovery,” President Joel Thierstein says.
“Rather than spread the cost of testing … across the entire campus, we would apply it” to unvaccinated students. pic.twitter.com/VeOGW6SJ5N
— New Day (@NewDay) August 12, 2021
While the school says it “is not mandating” vaccination, it expects to review that decision “once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approves the COVID-19 vaccines for use beyond the current emergency use status.”