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OU AAUP praises university adherence to federal COVID-19 employee vaccine mandate, calls for campus-wide mandate

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An OU flag in front of the Bizzell Memorial Library.

The OU American Association of University Professors wrote in a press release Monday that it “gladly accepts” OU’s adherence to the nationwide employee vaccine mandate but continues to urge for an all-encompassing policy.

On Oct. 29, OU President Joseph Harroz issued a public statement, writing that all employees — student or paid staff and faculty, part-time or full-time — must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 with a World Health Organization-approved vaccine in accordance with President Biden’s executive order from September.

The OU-AAUP had released its own statement a day earlier urging the OU administration to recognize Biden’s executive order and apply it to the pre-existing university COVID-19 policies.

Harroz’s letter and subsequent mandate was an “important and common sense public health protection measure” for the community, the OU-AAUP wrote, but shouldn’t be the final action taken.

The organization called for the administration to extend the new policy to all students in order to make OU a CDC-defined fully-vaccinated campus as well as a university-wide mask mandate in all indoor campus spaces. Implementing both of these, the OU-AAUP wrote, will be the only way OU will “safely return to full capacity in-person learning.”

If OU extends its current vaccination policy to the general student body, it would follow other universities whose vaccine requirements cover all members of their communities, such as the University of California system, New York University and Louisiana State University.

Kaly Phan is a journalism sophomore and news reporter at The Daily.

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