We welcome the news of a vaccine mandate for University Park faculty and staff. We have seen that mandates increase vaccination levels at other institutions, and any step to make our community safer is a good one.

However, this announcement is coming quite late. Many of our faculty, staff, students, staff, and community members have suffered because this administration has done the absolute minimum as required by law at the last possible moment. Moreover, this announcement works to maintain funding as opposed to protect public health and safety. It excludes the majority of University Park students as well as everyone at the Commonwealth campuses.

If we are truly one Penn State, then a requirement should apply equally and equitably. We’re a world-class institution that should be at the vanguard of developments in higher education in the time of this pandemic. We should be showing real care for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. We shouldn’t be at the back of the pack.