UNC-Chapel Hill faculty committee wants university to require vaccines for students, staff

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The UNC Faculty Executive Committee met for an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss COVID-19 safety for the fall semester.

During that meeting, faculty members passed a resolution asking the UNC System to give the power to the chancellor and provost to require proof of vaccinations from employees and students.

Currently, neither the faculty or university have the power to implement a vaccine mandate. It would have to come from the state's Commission for Public Health, which is a process that could take months.

UNC faculty revealed during the meeting on Wednesday that, of the 25,000 students who have attested their vaccine status, 94 percent said they are vaccinated.

In addition, 82 percent of faculty members are vaccinated.

But faculty members are still worried about what will happen when students return to the campus, especially given that Orange County currently has no gathering limits and the Delta variant is raging across the country.

"We want to make sure that we don't repeat past mistakes so the faculty has been proactive in trying to create grounds so that we can have a safer campus," said Deb Aikat, the associate professor at Hussman School of Journalism

The University of North Carolina Systems says it has administered more than 92,000 vaccinations at its campus clinics and will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all faculty, staff and students.

Duke University has already announced that all new and returning students would have to present proof of a COVID-19 vaccination before they could enroll in the fall semester.

"Looking ahead, we know that widespread vaccination will be the only way to facilitate a return to normal and robust campus life," Duke President Vincent Price said in a statement earlier this year.
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