BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — The quad on the campus of Bloomsburg University is empty as the spring semester is over, but come this fall it most likely will be crowded with students as it's a popular place to gather.
The university wants to be 100 percent in-person teaching for the upcoming academic year.
While some other schools are requiring students to be vaccinated before returning to campus, Bloomsburg says it cannot force its students to get a shot BECAUSE it is among the 14 public schools in the Commonwealth.
So it's offering students an incentive: get a shot and get a shot at some money.
“I think it's a really good idea because again you can't force the students to get vaccinated, so I feel this is either going to influence them to be vaccinated or for those of us who are already vaccinated, like myself,” said senior Melissa Stuck.
Bloomsburg says it will be offering a limited scholarship lottery for students who show proof of their vaccination.
There will be two $5,000 scholarships that will go to a returning student and an incoming student.
Ten $2,500 scholarships will go to 5 returning students and 5 incoming students.
Senior Lenora Pierce thinks this is A smart way for Bloomsburg to handle the vaccination situation.
“It could be a good push for a lot of people who are kind of on the fence about it because the past year being online has been honestly terrible,” said Pierce.
The university says over the past year, it has provided students with COVID tests and will continue to do so. However, vaccinated students will not have to be tested.
“As a vaccinated person, it's relieving to know that I'm going to be able to get back to seeing the campus in its normal scenery,” said graduate student Ryan Chinni.
Students must show proof they are vaccinated to the Student Health Center by September 13th.