Eastern Michigan University introduces vaccine mandate for residential students; launches “Get the VAX to WIN” incentive program providing 150 prizes up to $5,000 in value

A bandage being placed on the upper arm of a person after vaccination

YPSILANTI --  In a message to the campus community today (August 12, 2021), Eastern Michigan University President James Smith announced two new initiatives in the University’s ongoing efforts to respond to the rapidly changing environment due to COVID-19 and the increased community spread resulting from the Delta variant:

  • Vaccine mandate for students living in residential housing on campus.
  • “Get the VAX to WIN” program, providing students and employees who receive the COVID-19 vaccination an opportunity to receive one of 150 prizes ranging from $5,000 and $1,000 credits on student accounts, free room and board, free parking, $100 bookstore gift cards, or $500 payments.

Student housing vaccine requirements

All University students who live in student housing facilities during fall semester will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The deadline for students who live in these facilities to receive their final vaccination shot and verify their vaccination status through the University’s COVID Vax Certification system is Thursday, September 30, 2021. A person has received a final vaccination shot after receiving a second shot of a two-shot vaccination series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single shot of a one-shot vaccination series (e.g., Johnson & Johnson vaccine). 

In addition to the many opportunities available to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the University plans to launch a series of pop-up in late-August and early-September.

Students who comply with the program will be eligible for the “Get the VAX to WIN” incentive program.

Students who live in University housing and need to request accommodation from vaccination due to medical reasons or a sincerely-held religious can do so.

Housing residents will still be required to submit proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test shortly before move-in. This policy reflects the fact that some residents may not be fully vaccinated when they move into campus housing. Residential housing students have received instructions for how to submit this information.

“Get the VAX to WIN” vaccine incentive program

To encourage members of the campus community to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the University is introducing the “Get the VAX to WIN” program.

Students who receive the COVID-19 vaccination are eligible to receive the following prizes:

  • $5,000 credit to student account (5 students will win)     
  • $1,000 credit to student account (20 students will win)
  • Google Pixelbook Go 13.3” computer (5 students will win)
  • Free on-campus housing for one semester (10 students will win)
  • Free on-campus parking permit for one semester (10 students will win)
  • $100 gift card to the EMU Bookstore (20 students will win)
  • $100 credit to be used at EMU Dining (50 students will win)

Employee prizes include $500 payment (10 employees will win), $100 bookstore gift card (10 employees will win), and $100 credit to be used at EMU Dining facilities (10 employees will win).

“We are taking these actions in our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe,” said President Smith. “With the Washtenaw County region having moved into the “substantial” spread category, along with many other counties in the state, we believe this is the right step to keep our case numbers low as we head into the fall semester. I am proud of the efforts of our students, faculty and staff to keep our case counts among the lowest of public universities in Michigan over the last year, and these measures will help us stay on that path.

“We also hope our students and employees will take advantage of the great incentives we have in place to encourage vaccinations.”

Just last week, the University announced it was mandating face masks in all indoor buildings, regardless of whether the individual has been vaccinated.

For more on the University’s overall efforts to address COVID-19 and keep the campus community safe, visit #EMUSafe.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

August 12, 2021

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Walter Kraft