Masks around campus

Students around campus are donning masks as they begin to return for the fall semester, Aug. 17, 2020.

One hundred and thirty-four students out of the approximately 37,000 enrolled at Virginia Tech were disenrolled for failing to follow the university’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements by Aug. 23, the first day of classes. This means that they did not submit a religious or medical exemption form or provide proof of vaccination. The university had announced June 8 that vaccines would be required for the fall 2021 semester.

“The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement,” the university said.

Nationwide, universities have announced vaccine mandates starting as early as March. The Chronicle of Higher Education found that 1,014 campuses have required at least some students or employees to be vaccinated.

Virginia Tech is not the only school that has disenrolled students due to a vaccine mandate. Other state universities, such as the University of Virginia, have enforced their mandate and disenrolled students as well. While 238 students had not complied at the University of Virginia, only 49 had registered for fall classes, according to The Washington Post.

Some universities have resorted to different methods, such as fining students who are not yet vaccinated. According to CNN, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut announced it would be removing Wi-Fi access for unvaccinated students as well as a weekly and increasing fine.

Currently, 95% of students have reported being vaccinated, according to Virginia Tech’s vaccination dashboard.

“I think that we definitely had enough time, enough warning; we knew the consequences of not getting the vaccine, so I think it was appropriate just because of what we are currently in, our situation,” said Nicole Tuckman, a senior double majoring in human development and English. “Everyone does need to get vaccinated, and if you don’t, you’re not allowed to go to Virginia Tech.”

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