MTU to mandate employee vaccines

Federal contracts mean federal rules
MTU's vaccine mandate would require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or to have...
MTU's vaccine mandate would require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or to have a religious or medical exemption.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - MTU will soon be enforcing President Biden’s federal employee vaccine mandate.

Last Friday, campus staff were notified they must be vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, or file an exemption.

“What we’ve been working through is what that means for this university,” said MTU Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Ian Repp. “This applies to all federal contracts, and because we do a lot of research at this university, and we have a lot of federal contracts, the mandate applies to us.”

Staff will have until Jan. 10, 2022, to provide proof of vaccination, or to file a medical or religious exemption to remain employed.

“We’re trying to provide proper communication, give everybody an understanding of what this means to them,” said Repp. “Then, providing them the vehicles and the resources that they can communicate and work with HR to get their paperwork filed.”

Student feelings are generally mixed, but some say it’s not right.

“It could help protect people,” said Brian Marku, an MTU freshman studying engineering management. “But there’s some people that don’t want to have it, and I feel like it’s their right to have it or not to have it, you know?”

Another student, Olivia Buss, says she agrees.

“Honestly, I don’t think it should be mandated,” said Buss. “I think it should be a choice and I really strongly believe in that.”

MTU students think many will try for the exemption.

“The lady that I work with, she did the religious exemption,” said Buss. “So I know that’s definitely one thing that a lot of people have been doing. And I have been hearing that they’re not wanting to fire anyone, that’s not their goal.”

For more information about MTU’s specific vaccine policies for employees, check out this link on its website.

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