University requires vaccination of students

By Royal Shrestha, Staff Writer

The University shared through a Massmail on June 21 that students will no longer need to submit regular saliva samples. Instead, students can use their Safer Illinois app to show that they have been vaccinated. Students are looking forward to a move back to in-person classes as they felt they retained information and learned better in a classroom setting. 

As the University of Illinois system is moving forward into the next phase of the pandemic, it is expected that students from the University are fully vaccinated when the fall semester comes. President Tim Killeen believes that this is the best way to ensure safety of the students while beginning the process of returning to the pre-pandemic days. This includes receiving a University-accepted vaccination as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and after 14 days has passed after the final dose. 

Students who choose to not receive vaccination due to health reasons or have not submitted vaccination records will have to continue participating in the COVID-19 testing program and wear a face mask. 

“I’m glad that U of I is in this new phase,” said Anthony Hererra, junior in LAS. “After a year of online classes, I am glad to finally be able to walk around the quad and talk person-to-person with my friends and professors.” 

Having to take many lab courses this past year, Hererra described not having learned much due to being taught the methods and background of lab techniques instead of getting hands-on experience. Hererra described the nature of e-learning to be distracting overall and is glad to go back to the big lecture halls. 

Students who have received their final dose should upload it to the MyMcKinley Portal at least three weeks before the start of the fall semester as it takes time for verification. To see the status of the verification, students can check to see if they have building access on their Safer Illinois app. 

 “I am glad that we will return to a regular college life and am happy that they are continuing to offer the saliva tests as I know some friends who chose to not receive the vaccination,” said Amartya Shah, junior in LAS.

The fall 2021 semester will be a slow transition back to a life without COVID-19, and the University is ensuring that they make this transition as smooth as possible by still providing online classes and saliva testing.

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