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KU student starts petition asking university to require vaccinations for students, faculty

KU campus
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 12:59:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — A student at the University of Kansas has started a petition asking school officials to require all students and faculty to be vaccinated before returning to campus in August.

The petition, which was started by Sophie Kunin, says this is in effort "to preserve the health of the Lawrence community, in addition to creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for students."

If the university does not require vaccines for students, the petition asks for alternative options like requiring unvaccinated people to wear masks or allowing students to attend online classes.

KU dropped its mask requirement in May, after the Douglas County Health Department's public health order expired. At the time, the health order required residents in the county to wear masks.

In a statement to KSHB 41 News, a university spokesperson said Kansas law prohibits KU from enforcing a vaccine requirement.

"State law limits our ability to require vaccinations or proof of vaccination, however we are planning numerous opportunities for students to receive vaccinations both on and off campus as they return," the spokesperson said.

However, they said the university is taking some additional steps to keep students safe.

In addition to providing students with the opportunity to receive a vaccine, KU will requiring students living on campus to either voluntarily provide proof they've been vaccinated or participate in COVID-19 entry testing.

"As we have said publicly many times, KU had zero known transmissions of COVID-19 within any of our classrooms or research spaces during the pandemic, which is a testament to the health and safety measures we implemented and the diligence of our faculty, staff and students," the spokesperson said.