Southeastern provides update on COVID-19 immunization requirements


Brynn Lundy

The university continues to provide COVID-19 vaccination and testing opportunities on campus. The COVID-19 vaccine was recently added to an existing list of required immunizations for students to receive prior to the next enrollment period. Students must fill out an “Immunization Update” form on LEONet by Oct. 25.

In an email sent to the student body on Sept. 29, Southeastern clarified the immunization requirements it announced shortly before Hurricane Ida. 

The COVID-19 vaccination was added to an existing list of required immunizations students must take before enrolling in the university. 

By Oct. 25, students will be required to fill out a form titled “Immunization Update” on LEONet. One of three options will have to be completed in order to meet the requirements. Students will either have to indicate that they have been vaccinated, submit a medical exemption or submit a dissent to vaccination. A registration hold will be placed on all LEONet accounts until the requirements are met. 

The process is identical to the immunization policies already in place for incoming freshmen.

Senior Director of University Marketing and Communications Mike Rivault explained the university’s reasoning behind implementing the policy in this method. 

“All it did was fold this into our normal policy. The difference being we kind of have to go back and get everyone to do it because it is new. We have to get all students to either show us if you took it, give a medical reason for not taking it or give a personal reason for not taking it,” Rivault said. 

Rivault also clarified that there will be no consequences for students who choose to dissent from vaccination. 

“In terms of being in classes and attending campus events, there is no ramifications to being unvaccinated unless the state releases a new policy that says otherwise. Outside of the registration hold, there will be no differentiation between vaccinated and unvaccinated students,” he said. 

Though the university indicated that there may be additional testing for unvaccinated students, Rivault explained that there are no plans at this time for additional restrictions on unvaccinated students.

In addition, the university will begin random COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis to help better determine how many students on campus have contracted the virus. The sampling is of all students, regardless of vaccination status. Other schools in the University of Louisiana System have adopted a random sampling method as well. 

“We cannot test everyone every week. In an ideal world, everyone would walk in and get a test everyday but that is impossible. So, the sampling testing of a certain percentage of students is what we will do and that is what almost all of the UL schools are doing. We are trying to be consistent with all of the other schools in the system,” he noted. 

Rivault emphasized that Southeastern will continue to comply with all state and federal COVID-19 testing and vaccination regulations.