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Letters to the Editor: No state vaccine mandate for community colleges? How elitist

A masked student walks on the main UC Riverside campus in July.
A masked student walks on the main UC Riverside campus in July. Both the Cal State and UC systems require students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: We read of vaccine mandates in California’s schools and university systems, but what about community colleges? The current lack of a vaccine mandate covering California’s community colleges is essentially a public devaluing of the 2.1 million students enrolled in this system.

The state has issued mandates for all University of California and Cal State schools, but it has settled on “local determination” for each of the 116 community college campuses. The result is that the majority of these schools currently do not mandate vaccines, nor are they subject to any uniform requirements for assuring the safety of students and employees.

Since community colleges depend on enrollment for funding, many are avoiding vaccine mandates due to the unfounded fear that students will choose not to attend campuses that require the vaccine. California is essentially saying that these students are not worth the protection afforded to their more “elite” peers at UC and Cal State schools.

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Since the chancellor has stated he has no authority to require all community colleges to adopt a mandate, the governor should take action. Community colleges transfer thousands of students to universities every year; they are part of the higher education plan in this state, and they should be valued as such.

Carsten Dau, Glendora

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To the editor: Let’s set aside teachers who have legitimate medical reasons for not receiving a vaccination against COVID-19. Instead, let’s focus only on those who refuse vaccination based on selfish conceptions of personal liberty, debunked conspiracy theories, insincere “religious” objections that don’t match any religion’s teachings, or their belief in discredited medical myths.

Can one really refer to such people as “educators”?

Michael Krumme, Los Angeles


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