Aug. 9, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College is offering an incentive to encourage students to get the COVID-19 vaccine and plans on-campus vaccination clinics as part of efforts to keep the campus safe.
Vaccines have been determined to be the most effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and preventing serious illness and hospitalization. As of Tuesday, GRCC is requiring that everyone on campus wear face coverings when indoors, following a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kent and Ottawa counties were moved into the “substantial” category for risk transmission.
Students who have already received the vaccine or who are fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 will receive a $200 credit on their RaiderCard accounts to use for campus dining, parking, printing, and in the bookstore.
The incentive will be available for students enrolled for the fall 2021 semester. The college is using federal Strengthening Institutions Program Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for the project.
“An increased number of students and employees are coming back to campus this fall as we emerge from the pandemic,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We believe vaccines are the best way to assure students are able to successfully engage in on-campus learning and participate in campus activities. Vaccines are readily available, and we’ll provide vaccinations here on campus to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get one. Promoting vaccines is one more thing we can do to keep our campus safe.”
Vaccination location information is available at vaccinatewestmi.com.
The incentive program is one of the steps GRCC is taking or extending as part of a campus safety and wellness plan.
On-campus class sizes will be limited to 75% capacity, and the college is replacing two-person desks with single-person desks in most classrooms. Hundreds of hand sanitizing stations were added last year, and changes were made to campus cooling and ventilation to increase air flow.
College leaders are monitoring developments with COVID-19 and the delta variant, and are communicating with state and federal health authorities for guidance as conditions change.
GRCC Nursing students administered shots into the arms of students, campus employees, and others in the spring as part of the Shot of Love campaign, a partnership with Urban Church Leadership Center and Spectrum Health.
In May, the college hosted a campus vaccination pop-up clinic, which was visited by first lady Jill Biden.