Cal Poly’s booster mandate goes too far

December 23, 2021

OPINION by BEN DI GUGLIELMO

In another step signaling the university’s commitment to endless COVID-19 mandates, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo has officially required that all eligible students, staff, and faculty take a booster shot, or else be considered “unvaccinated.”

At 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, Cal Poly sent a university-wide email addressing the updated COVID policy going into winter quarter. The email stated that, contrary to many public universities in California, Cal Poly will not begin the winter quarter in an online format, and instead will carry on with in person classes and an updated COVID policy. Rather than teaching remote, the new policy will require that all eligible students take a booster shot.

Besides increasing Pfizer’s market cap, the booster shot requirement seems to serve very few purposes. The university cites the “Omicron” variant as the reason for the updated policy, despite the fact that by all available evidence the Omicron variant is no more severe, and is likely less deadly than the Delta variant.

So why, in the absence of a more severe or deadly strain of COVID, is Cal Poly mandating that students take three shots within a single year for a disease that poses very little risk for young and healthy people? Cal Poly claims that students must take their booster shots in order to “protect their community,” despite the fact that the evidence of vaccines slowing community transmission is inconclusive at best.

So when does it end?

If Cal Poly needs so little scientific evidence to mandate yet another shot, is there any point where the mandates will stop? Or will it become the case that in order to attend this university you need to take three vaccines every single year for a virus that poses very little threat to the young and healthy? Will a student who enters Cal Poly as a freshman have to get a total of 12 COVID shots in order to graduate? Will a professor who works at Cal Poly his entire life have to take 120 COVID shots to finish his career?

This policy is an obvious misstep, the students and faculty are smart enough to see the writing on the wall, the booster mandates will never end. According to the email, as of Jan. 20, 80% of all students will be considered “unvaccinated” if they do not take a booster shot before then. This will continue indefinitely. No student, staff, or faculty member, will ever be longer than sic months away from being considered “unvaccinated.” Everyone who did what they were supposed to by getting their two shots will be “unvaccinated” if they refuse to get a third. Everyone who does what they are supposed to by getting three shots will be “unvaccinated” if they refuse to get a fourth, or a fifth, tenth, twentieth, or hundredth shot.

No student will be more than six months away from potentially being barred from campus, and no staff or faculty member will ever be more than six months away from potentially losing their job. This is the world of unscientific and barbaric vaccine mandates.

Ben Di Guglielmo, 18, is an incoming freshman at Cal Poly. Di Guglielmo grew up in Riverside and graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School earlier this year.


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whoowhoo

Does the vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) or the gene modifying MRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) prevent the spread of the virus?


derasmus

While vaccine hesitancy is understandable given we don’t know what the long term side effects may be ( if any), MRNA vaccines cannot alter a persons DNA as the agent is not and cannot enter the nucleus. So, comments like “gene modifying” are non factual, hyperbolic, and illustrate a lack of understanding of biochemistry. So, if you are hesitant in getting the vaccine ( I too share your concern but weighed the evidence and got fully vaccinated) I can accept that, I get it. However, please refrain from false information.


mazin

This anti-vax opinion is ridiculous.


exWGemployee

The Kool-Aid only works if everybody drinks it.

No vaccine for me or my family. We’ll be just fine without it, thanks.


Adam Trask

Sure, that’s exactly what right-wing talk show hosts Phil Valentine, Marc Bernier, Bob Enyart, Dick Farrel and Jimmy DeYoung Sr. said. They all died from COVID after publicly denouncing vaccinations and providing a whirlwind of misinformation about the virus to listeners.


https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/21/metro/dying-an-audience/


mkaney

And I TOTALLY support that.. But this kid is in a class with 200 other people and an elderly professor. Totally different than the average person. In this case, stfu and get the vaccine..


Mitch C

I am double vaccinated with a buster, but if there is a need for a fourth shot I will have to give it a lot of thought – how much junk can you put into your body before there are adverse effects.


guntrust

At least CalPoly allows exemptions. Should they cease to allow exemptions, there will be hell to pay with interest.


mkaney

While I may not support mandates for all jobs, I certainly support it for college students in classrooms. You are sitting in a large room, side by side, with sometimes more than a hundred other people. You’re not working in an office, or out in the field in a car, or even spaced apart on a warehouse floor.


My father is a professor at Cal Poly, and is in his 70s… He especially doesn’t want to bring it home to his wife who is in her 80s. Every time someone tests positive in one of his classes, 10 more in the same class end up testing positive.


Covid may not frighten you because you’re young.. but have a little consideration to the people that are there to provide you with that education. This piece makes you sound extremely self interested and entitled.


chatterbox

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t care about the elderly or poor. It’s sad.


mkaney

TWENTY FIVE down votes at this point.. But let me tell you, if you spread covid to my parents when you’re in a class with 200 people.. I might just come find you. Seriously, you people need help


PasoInnobles

wahhhhhhhhhhh

snowflakes melt in California.

Try Wisconsin.


PasoInnobles

How the heck did I get 17 upvotes on this site? On this comment? Let me lay it out. The author is a snowflake and should get vaccinated. Or move to Wisconsin. Geez!!!! Get a grip, snowflakes.


Freethebud

Is believing in conspiracy theories now part of the republican platform? You take the booster to prevent the spread of the covid variant that while not as deadly as the delta variant can still make you very sick and has the potential to kill others. I am starting to think that these trumpanzies with their crazy theories and selfishness need to find their own patch of ground somewhere and leave the rest of the civilized population alone. Then they will be free to spread their diseases to each other, run around with their AR-15’s slung over their shoulders and bibles in their hands. Their selfishness just doesn’t allow them to do something for someone other than themselves.