BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The COVID-19 vaccine is now a requirement for all Bakersfield College students and employees for the fall semester.
That decision made during Kern Community College District board meeting.
23ABC’s reporter Rosaura Simone discusses what this means for community colleges.
This new requirement is in effect for Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College. It requires all students and employees to receive their first dose by September 7.
“As of right now, you can come to campus but please wear your mask and follow social distance guidelines and just the same guidelines we’ve been following for the last year and a half,” said Joe Grubbs, Kern Community College District Executive Director.
He said when students come to class in the next few weeks, they will be allowed on campus without a COVID vaccine, but that will change come September 7 after the District Board of Trustees unanimously approved to mandate the vaccine Thursday.
The guidelines say students and employees must get their first dose by September 7 and be fully vaccinated with their second dose by November 1.
“If a student was not able to be vaccinated for whatever reason or non-compliant, we would treat that just like we would treat any other noncompliance issue that we deal with students on campus from time to time from the student code of conduct.”
Steven Holmes, long time professor of political science at Bakersfield College, said he feels safer with this requirement in place: “I think that’s a great move by our board of trustees for the public good and our campus environment that all employees as well as the students that are attending face to face courses be vaccinated.”
But some took to social media to oppose this new requirement.
On Facebook, Chelsea Morales says: “It’s wrong. What happened to freedom? It’s our body our choice if we decide to take the vaccine or not this whole vaccine mandate is wrong.”
Kevin Harris saying in part, “It’s wrong. One should not be forced to take an experimental drug.”
Grubbs says he has one priority, “Our emphasis is to keep our students safe, keep our staff and faculty safe, keep visitors coming onto to our campuses safe.”
Grubbs stated that you don’t have to be vaccinated if you take classes online.