New poll shows student support for vaccine, in-person classes

SPU students respond to questions regarding fall classes and COVID-19

Mary Bruggeman and Talia Parlane

As college campuses across the nation continue to reopen, debate continues on whether universities should mandate COVID-19 vaccines and keep certain regulations concerning online and in-person class attendance.

Last week, 200 SPU students responded to a poll conducted by the Falcon about COVID-19 restrictions for the upcoming fall quarter. Respondents were asked whether they preferred online or in-person classes and if they thought the university should require COVID-19 vaccines in the fall.

For the first question, regarding online and in-person classes, 86.5% of respondents said that they would prefer to have in-person classes in the fall, while 13.5% said that they favor keeping things online.

First-year student and computer science major, Mahad Abdulqadir, explained his preference for in-person classes.

“I prefer in-person to have a better connection with other students and my professor,” he stated.

Many students said that in-person classes helped them to focus better and have more discussions with their peers.

Even though she said she would rather have in-person classes, sophomore Isabel Bartosh, majoring in History and Museum Studies, expressed her appreciation for the flexibility that online lectures have provided.

“I prefer in-person classes, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of my online classes. I really enjoy having recorded lectures that I can reference,” said Bartosh.

Students have tried to make the most of a difficult situation as many classes have been online or blended for the past year. For some, those issues still haven’t gone away.

Sophomore physiology major Hera Cadelina said online classes are difficult for her.

“Online classes make me feel unproductive and I get distracted a lot,” Cadelina said.

Even though online classes are challenging, she said she preferred them in the poll because she is concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

“I would rather do in-person classes, but I just feel like COVID-19 will still be present in the fall,” she explained.

Although the majority of students agree that classes would be better in person, they are more divided on the issue of whether the vaccine should be required in order to attend SPU in the fall.

According to the poll results, 57.5% think the vaccine should be required to attend SPU in the fall; while, 42.4% believe it should not be made mandatory.

Freshman and psychology major, Ally Smith, expressed her opinion on the potential COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

“I think vaccination should be a choice because there are many who don’t feel comfortable with getting a shot that isn’t yet FDA approved and isn’t well-studied in terms of effects and such,” Smith said.

People who do not believe the COVID-19 vaccine should be required, see it as a very personal decision that involves some risk.

While some students see the COVID-19 vaccine as a personal choice, others see it as a necessary action to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

Junior Lizzie VanBrunt, a cellular and molecular biology major, expressed her support for making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, referencing the current policies that already require students to get certain vaccines.

“I do think SPU should require vaccines,” she said. “I know we are already required to have certain vaccinations like Meningitis B when you live in the dorms. So to me, getting the COVID vaccine wouldn’t be any different than that.”

First-year and music major Sean Sheveland agrees that the vaccine should be required. If everyone is vaccinated, he reasoned everyone will be safe and have more freedom.

“I think we’re all tired of living the way that we have for the past year or so,” Sheveland said. “I’m willing to push aside my tentativeness and put the well-being of our community and society first, and I plead that others should find the inspiration to do the same.”