The faculty senate voted late Tuesday evening to pass a resolution regarding the University of Mississippi COVID-19 policies. The resolution directly calls upon the university to initiate a vaccine mandate, and calls upon other bodies at the university – such as the Associated Student Body and the Staff Council – to support the resolution.
The faculty senate body, made up of representatives for each department in the university’s 11 schools and colleges, voted overwhelmingly to pass the resolution. Eighty-nine percent of present voting members voted “Yes.”
The resolution lists in great detail the factors that necessitated the resolution’s conception. The document points to the pandemic, the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite proof of immunity being required for other communicable diseases and the state’s low vaccination rate, among other things, as reasons the resolution came to fruition.
Toward the end of the same section, the senate shared what they believe to be the risks associated with the combination of these factors.
“The conjunction of these factors is likely to result in student and faculty absenteeism in face-to-face courses because of COVID-19 infections, quarantines and caregiving responsibilities,” the resolution reads. “And in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths among students, faculty, staff and their households, including children under 12 not eligible for vaccines and other community members.”
The body also states that, “The University of Mississippi has an obligation to protect the life, health and well being of its students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities.”
The opening section of the document concludes by pointing out that over 1000 United States colleges, universities and university systems require the COVID-19 vaccine.
Presently, it is unclear where the resolution will go next.
After voting had concluded and the resolution had passed, Faculty Senate Chair Daniel Durkin applauded the body on their first resolution of the year as the meeting adjourned.
“I appreciate everyone hanging in there and sticking with it and coming up with something that we can all be proud of,” Durkin said. “Thank you all so much.”