By Danielle Modica | April 20, 2021
One of the campaign posters on campus. Courtesy of Michael Christakis on Twitter
UAlbany administration and the Student Association are collaborating on engaging and educational events to promote student COVID-19 vaccination through a new initiative, “#GetVaxxedUAlbany.”
This new initiative coincides with the current Closed Point of Dispensing (CPOD) clinics at the SEFCU Arena. The goal of these events is to educate the UAlbany community on vaccines and to help increase sign-up numbers when spots are available. The tabling events include a speaker series, educational handouts, stickers, and will provide an opportunity for students to get their questions answered.
The speaker series will consist of medical professionals from campus, sharing their experience with the COVID-19 vaccines and allowing students to share their concerns.
“The vaccine initiative was started in hopes of not only promoting vaccinations but also to address any questions and concerns the student body may have about the COVID-19 vaccine, SA Senator-at-Large Brianna Ortiz said. “Through daily informational tabling and speaker panels, we are working hard to keep the student body engaged, knowledgeable, and healthy.”
The Student Association became aware of this new campaign through Senate Vice Chairman Jordan Ozley, who proposed the idea last month. The SA has been a key player in organizing and executing the daily activities.
“[Jordan Ozley] proposed the idea at the end of a meeting and a whole bunch of us got on board, Ortiz said. “Soon after, I was meeting with Jordan making flyers and marketing materials for tabling.”
UAlbany Communication Specialist Kelsey Butz said that having fellow students communicate one-on-one may help educate the campus community on vaccine stigmas.
“The University strongly encourages students to get the COVID-19 vaccine when they are able, but we know that many have questions about its safety or efficacy,” Butz said.
Butz also shared their appreciation for the SA’s key role in the collaboration.
“We are really grateful for our students who are dedicating their time to serving as ambassadors and encouraging others to get the vaccine,” Butz said. “The Student Association’s efforts are invaluable.”
Butz also says that the State Department of Health keeps specifics of on-campus vaccine statistics, not the University. However, creating a more transparent student-to-administration dialog through these tabling events is aimed at boosting future clinic attendee numbers.
“Vaccine quantity is not something the University has control over. However, we are tracking as best we can,” she said. “You’ll see an anonymous survey soon to gauge students’ willingness to receive the vaccine, for purposes of estimating how many future vaccines to request.”
UAlbany will continue to hold vaccination CPODs when instructed by Albany County and vaccination sign-up information will be sent to student and faculty emails as usual.
To stay updated on each tabling event, be sure to check out UAlbany and UAlbany SA's Instagram pages.