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Los Rios Community College District offering students $200 to get vaccinated

"We want to provide every incentive we can for our students to be vaccinated," Brian King, Chancellor of Los Rios, said.
Credit: https://flc.losrios.edu/

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees voted to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all Los Rios employees and students who access district and college facilities by no later than Oct. 1, 2021. 

Brian King, the chancellor of Los Rios, said the reasoning behind the decision was to make sure everyone on campus is healthy and safe. 

“The recognition that the Delta variant is having such a dramatic impact on our public health, our board decided on August 3rd to establish a requirement that all of our students and staff to have at least their first shot by October 1,” King said.

On Monday, the Los Rios Community College District went live with the portal for students and staff to upload their vaccination records. If the student received their first shot before, Sept. 1, then Los Rios is giving them $100. Once shot number two is complete, the students receives another $100.

"So, for all our students who are hesitant, there's a really good incentive to go out and get that first shot and then follow up and get the second shot as well," King said, adding more information about claiming the incentive will be provided at a later time. 

Los Rios has four campuses throughout the greater Sacramento area: Sacramento City College, Consumnes River College, American River College, and Folsom Lake College. As Los Rios made this announcement via social media and emails, students started to comment with questions they had, yearning for more information.

“We just want to give our students a nudge to do what they really know they need to do anyway, and I think our $200 combined incentive for the two shots is a good incentive for students who have meant to be vaccinated, but don’t have the time or are a bit on the fence about whether it's the right thing to do," King said. "We want to provide every incentive we can for our students to be vaccinated so they can be safe for the fall semester.”

Chancellor King said he cares about the health of his students, faculty and staff, stating.

"I think a lot of organizations are just recognizing the seriousness of the Delta variant and taking the action that we need to take on behalf of our students and staff," King said.

As Los Rios made this announcement via social media and emails, students responded with questions. Tristian Diaz, a student from Cosumnes River College said they would've liked to have received more notice. 

“It would have been nice if they told us what they’re considering ahead of time," Diaz said. "If they asked for feedback, maybe there could be student feedback and maybe they could improvise so they can accommodate those who are unvaccinated.”

Additionally, Jessica Heyward was disappointed and frustrated in the delivery, as well. 

"It was just an email and it didn't provide clarity on what happens if you're not vaccinated," Heyward said. "Then they sent a follow-up email and they did tell me that if I’m not vaccinated, I will be dropped from my classes. That's a hard pill to swallow for those of us who need those in-person classes for our degrees.”

King was said the most important part of this process was being "thoughtful and empathetic with those who have been reluctant to be vaccinated."

"We don't have a lot of experience in this healthcare field so we're moving really fast to try to do the right thing to help everyone be vaccinated," King said.

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