Wofford College pushes for more vaccinations to resume campus activities

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Leaders with Wofford College are saying the percentage of vaccinated students is too low to allow them to return to social activities and large group gatherings. But since making that announcement Friday, they’re starting to see that number rise.

Wofford College has a campus Elijah Ball has called home for the last couple of years. As he looks back at some of his favorite memories, they all revolve around the people.

“We’re just surrounded by good people here,” Wofford Student Elijah Ball said.

Same goes for Kit Lindsey.

“Just spending time with your friends. We would gather in the pavilion before, study together,” Wofford Student Kit Lindsey said.

But it’s moments like those that are up in the air, until more students get vaccinated. Leaders with the school said in an announcement to students that classes will be returning completely in-person with no remote options.

Adding, they’re waiting to reopen their Greek village for social events and large gatherings until at least 70% of students have been vaccinated.

“It doesn’t seem fair for the people that are vaccinated and for the people who aren’t vaccinated, who chose not to do that but are wearing their masks and following the rules, for them not to gather either,” Lindsey weighed in.

A spokesperson with Wofford College told 7 News, they’re already starting to see more students upload their proof of a COVID vaccine, and are optimistic numbers will continue to rise.

When 7 News asked that spokesperson if vaccines are required, they said they’re strongly encouraging people to consider it.

“Wofford College is preparing to resume offering the experience that students, faculty and staff associate with the college. Last week, the campus community received an email offering insight on the percent of students, faculty and staff who have submitted proof of vaccination. Over the weekend, the percent of students submitting proof of vaccination increased by 8%. We look forward to resuming pre-pandemic operations to start the 2021-22 academic year and everyone doing their part to keep our community healthy.” 

Wofford College

A statement emailed to students on July 16 can be read below:

“In less than 50 days, we will start a new academic year, and we are all excited about engaging orientation programs, the newly renovated Mungo Student Center and Burwell Building, and the possibility of expanded social events in the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village.

As of today, about 35% of students and 78% of faculty and staff have uploaded their COVID-19 proof of vaccination. At this time, the percentage of vaccinated students is too low to allow us to return to the social activities and large group gatherings that are such an important part of the Wofford experience. All classes and labs, however, will be held in person, and remote learning options will not be available. We all have a responsibility to our community of learners, so please consider how you can do your part.

Why get the vaccine NOW?

  • The Delta variant is more contagious and is affecting more people in the 18-24 age range. The COVID-19 shot is proven to be effective against this new strain of the virus.
  • If a minimum of 70% of the student body uploads proof of vaccination, we will reopen the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village for social events, and we can allow large social gatherings.
  • Students can win prizes (25 $1,000 cash prizes and one $5,000 cash prize will be awarded in August for students who have uploaded their proof of vaccination for COVID-19). Faculty and staff who upload vaccine proof also will be registered for prizes including extra vacation days.
  • Being vaccinated means students are far less likely to have the academic, athletics and social experiences interrupted.
  • The greater Spartanburg community loves Wofford students and will appreciate us doing our part to keep our community safe.
  • Students who are vaccinated do not have to undergo required weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • The vaccines are safe! Here’s a link to the CDC science behind the shots.”

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