On Friday August 13th, the University of Regina announced the requirement that all people on campus be vaccinated if they are on campus, in addition to the previously announced required vaccines for residences, athletes, and some music programs. In addition, rapid testing will be available to individuals who are unwilling or unable to receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons.
URSU recognizes the various implications for students’ rights with the required vaccine or rapid testing. It is important to note that under the Canadian Rights and Freedoms, people have the right to make informed decisions that impact their health and wellbeing. The university will be implementing rapid testing on campus to ensure people who are uncomfortable or unable to get the vaccine can still access campus. It is essential that students and people on campus have access to timely and accurate information around COVID, vaccinations and the benefits of being vaccinated.
Everyone has the right to privacy and vaccine status should only be shared with an individual’s consent. We hope to work with the university administration to ensure personal health information is protected and only accessed and viewed when necessary. Accommodations are being made for people whose religion prevents vaccination to protect the right to practise.
International students may face additional pressures during the start of the semester to get vaccinated as they may not be able to get the second vaccination after the waiting period before October 1st. URSU is committed to ensuring equity and fairness in the implementation of the required vaccine on campus.
As we work through this unprecedented time, we are looking forward to Welcome Week, which is one of the most social times for students, but we are keeping in mind that the logistics for some events could change if the situation changes. URSU plans to host Vaccine Clinics in partnership with the Student Wellness Center, share presentations informing our members about covid, and urge students to get vaccinated if they are not already. We hope all students will feel safe on campus.
URSU will continue to help students through our services like the URSU Cares Pantry and with financial aid like our COVID bursary. Students can feel confident that their Students’ Union has their backs whether they are on campus or not.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding the upcoming semester.