BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The College Republican Federation of Alabama is condemning Birmingham-Southern College’s decision to give vaccinated students a $500 rebate, but leave nothing for unvaccinated students.
On Thursday, Birmingham-Southern College released a Fall 2021 Update, where they listed all safety regulations surrounding the virus for the upcoming semester.
“While more than 500 colleges and universities around the country are requiring the vaccines of its students, we will not,” the college said in its update. “Notwithstanding, we strongly encourage vaccination for the safety of our community.”
All BSC students will initially be charged $500 for the fall term to offset continual weekly antigen testing and quarantining costs. Students who are fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall term will receive an immediate $500 rebate.
For students who become fully vaccinated during the semester, they will receive a reduced rebate according to this equation: $500 * (1 – (weeks unvaccinated / total number of weeks of the term)).
Under the protocol, unvaccinated BSC students will be required to participate in weekly testing. As for unvaccinated faculty and staff, they must participate in monthly testing. Unvaccinated individuals are also subject to quarantine if contract tracers find them exposed to the virus. Unvaccinated individuals will also be required to wear masks indoors.
BSC stated that failing to follow the protocols will lead to removal of online access to “Moodle” and other platforms that are essential to academic success. If patterns of non-compliance occurs, they said that they will consider removing that person from campus.
“We simply cannot allow some individuals to endanger our community by avoiding or ignoring the protocols,” the statement read. “We appreciate your cooperation with full compliance to avoid these challenges for yourself and others on the Hilltop.”
Shortly after BSC made its announcement, the College Republican Federation of Alabama released a statement condemning the college’s decision, specifically regarding non-vaccinated students paying $500 to the the school and forcing them to move in on different days apart from vaccinated students.
“This is a blatant attack meant to shame students who are not vaccinated,” the organization said in the release. “While vaccines are a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19, we are still a free society where one should not be held at ransom to the tune of $500 if they do not feel the vaccine is the best course of action for them.”
At the end of their statement, they called on BSC to drop the $500 fee.
BSC officials say that if the student body reaches an 85% vaccination rate, faculty and staff, all protocols would be dropped.