No Vaccines Required to Take off Masks at ASU, Per Governor Order
Arizona’s Governor overturns ASU’s policy requiring unvaccinated students wear masks and undergo testing.
A week after Arizona State University (ASU) told incoming students they could keep masks off this year only if they had been fully vaccinated, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey overturned that decision by issuing an executive that prohibits public universities and community colleges from mandating COVID-19 tests, vaccines and masks for students to participate in learning.
Per the letter issued by ASU vice president of student service Joanne Vogel, “Managing COVID-19 is both a matter of personal responsibility and public health, and we ask that you follow all protocols as they apply to our collective well-being.”
In a statement issued by the governor and reported by CBS News on June 16, he said, “The vaccine works and we encourage Arizonans to take it. But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way. We need to make our public universities available for students to return to learning. They have already missed out on too much learning.” He continued to say that Arizona State’s protocols for the fall were “bad policy with no basis for public health.
Ducey is working with lawmakers to codify his executive order into law.
Further, Travis Graham, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives agreed with Ducey’s comments, stating that ASU’s policy is “blatantly discriminatory” against unvaccinated students and called for the termination of Vogel.
“It’s important that this tyrannical policy must not prevent any Arizonan from accessing our state university system,” said Graham. “For that that reason I am call for the policy’s immediate rescindment.”
ASU countered by stating that it did not communicate a vaccine mandate but reiterated it expects students to get vaccinated and also offered them a choice.
“We communicated the continuation of existing health protocols for students who are not yet vaccinated as they are at a higher risk for infection and spreading the virus,” said the school.