In an effort to ramp up vaccination rates among college students, the White House, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, has called on colleges and universities across the country to join the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge.
To launch the initiative, a webinar was held on June 11 featuring members of the White House COVID-19 response team. Dr. Mary C. Wall moderated the event.
Students, faculty and staff from various schools not only learned about the challenge but were also invited to be active participants in discussing and coming up with ways to encourage others to become involved.
Salt Lake Community College is among the first 350 institutions across 46 states to participate.
“We are happy to join the White House COVID-19 College Vaccination Challenge because we know our community will be safer and healthier if we all get fully vaccinated,” stated SLCC President Deneece Huftalin.
“There are so many more opportunities to learn, gather and connect when we have the peace of mind that folks have taken the necessary health precautions and been vaccinated. Our surveys show that many of our students and employees are already fully vaccinated but we want to encourage even more to do so as soon as possible,” Huftalin concluded.
The challenge incorporates three keys: Engage every student, faculty, and staff member; organize your college community; and deliver vaccine access for all.
Wall walked through the digital media kit, which is available to all participants to download and includes different badges to add to personal social media accounts to help promote the project.
Yvanna Cancela from the Department of Health and Human Services gave some advice on engaging fellow students.
“Thinking back to my time on college campus … the best events were those created by students for students. There are undoubtedly student groups across your campuses that do remarkable things,” Cancela said.
The new Salt Lake Community College Student Association President, Lindsay Simons, initiated her participation by sending a letter to her fellow students.
“I just sent an email out this morning to the student body telling them that SLCC is part of the vaccination challenge and provided them with a link to sign up to be vaccinated and also encouraged them to research the vaccine and talk with their medical professionals,” Simons said.
Simons also said the SLCCSA has some tabling events planned to help interested students sign up and get their vaccines.
Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge page to find out more about the challenge or download a digital media kit.