Vaccination incentive program pushes GV student body towards a brighter semester


Courtesy to GVSU

Sara Collins, Staff Writer

With the fall semester right around the corner, Grand Valley State University students have been highly encouraged by the university to not only receive the COVID-19 vaccine before classes begin but to fill out the online self-assessment form in order to participate in the school’s vaccine incentive program. 

The month of July was designated as “Lakers Vax Up” month, featuring an incentive program developed by the GVSU Virus Action Team. The program offered students a chance to verify their vaccination records through the daily self-assessment form online. By doing so, students were entered into a raffle. 1,000 students will be chosen on August 4, 11, 18, and 25 to win $100, according to the Lakers Together website.

Greg Sanial, Vice President for Finance and Administration and director of the GVSU Virus Action Team, encourages students to get vaccinated and fill out the form.

“We want 100% of people to report their vaccination status,” Sanial said. “The higher the percentage that are vaccinated the better, but right now what we really need and encourage is to report your vaccination status.” 

Although many GVSU students may be ready to attend fall classes fully vaccinated, Sanial said that the exact percentage of vaccinated students at GVSU remains unknown.

“The overall problem we have is we don’t have a good handle on the overall vaccination status of the students,” Sanial said. 

This is where the incentive program comes into play, Sanial said.

“The idea was to reach out to students, especially those that had been already vaccinated that just haven’t filled out a self-assessment and told us,” Sanial said. “They could get entered into the raffle and have the opportunity to win the $100,” said Sanial. 

Several factors will be put into consideration when looking forward regarding a change in mask mandates on campus, but a high vaccination rate will be the most effective way to herd immunity and virus transmission, according to the GVSU Data Dashboard and Virus Action Team website. 

While the university is urging students to get vaccinated, several components of campus life are expected to return to normal, according to a recent email sent to the student body from President Mantella. This transition includes full capacity classrooms, in-person classes and updated face covering policy.