The California State University system announces vaccination requirements for on-campus courses during the fall 2021 semester

CSUF students waiting in line at the Titan Student Union building for a COVID-19 vaccine. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat

The California State University system announced a proposed policy on April 22 that will require students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated before accessing the campus. Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approves a vaccine, the new requirement will take effect. There will be accommodations for those seeking an exemption on medical or religious grounds, according to California State University, Fullerton’s Vaccine Requirement Q&A.

The Dean of Students encouraged all fellow Titans to take the opportunity in its partnership with Providence St. Jude Medical Center and schedule an appointment for the vaccine clinic held at Titan Student Union building on May 13.

Maryanne Shults, a lecturer at CSUF in the Journalism department, has been vaccinated since April after booking her appointment online with Walgreens. Shults and her husband have a greater risk of severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I just felt it was wise for us at our age and for what we both do,” Shults said. “I’m very social, so I am still getting out a lot, and I felt it would be the safest thing to do for us.”

The CDC assessed the relationship between fully vaccinated adults 65 and older with hospitalizations due to COVID-19. It found that 94% of adults 65 and older were less likely to be hospitalized than those unvaccinated.


Jack Anfield, an undergraduate student at CSUF, believes that the vaccine requirement for returning to campus during the fall semester is better for the university. He will be returning to in-person learning at Fullerton next semester to take classes, as he was fully vaccinated last week.

“I totally support it because it’s all about public health, and it helps a lot of people be safe,” Anfield said. “It gives students more confidence once they go back to campus. Being fully vaccinated and going to campus is one way we show our responsibility in society.”

Hritu Parna Barua, an incoming student at CSUF, will be taking classes on campus this fall and getting vaccinated through her employer. New students like Barua have yet to experience the campus and interact with other students in person.

“I think students should definitely take it if they are going back to campus because safety comes first before anything else,” Barua said. “I have always wanted to visit the campus and to go inside and have the experience of just being there.”

Katarina Dawn/Lariat

Oswaldo Cortes, a current student at CSUF, has been on campus to pick up a laptop rental, and he shares how it officially feels to step foot on campus.

“There’s a sense of responsibility that makes it worth your while,” Cortes said. “The campus looks professional, so you kind of have to act professional and do your things in order to have that right to be there.”

Cortes will be taking all his classes on campus in the fall and is excited to be taking these classes in person finally. He has been vaccinated and shares his thoughts on the CSU vaccine requirement.

“I think it’s necessary because I feel like I have done my part,” he said. “Things start to open up again, and they’ll close because people aren’t wearing their masks, they aren’t getting vaccinated and it’s happened three times now – where things started to loosen up. It’s not fair to the people that do their part.”

There are still those who do not agree with the vaccine requirement made by the CSU system. @stopvaxmandates is an Instagram account made up of students, staff, and faculty in the CSU system that do not agree with the vaccine mandate. They are neither pro-vax nor anti-vax, nor are they republican or democratic, according to their first post.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Freedom to Choose (@stopvaxmandates)

The account has been trying to organize its first rally in front of the CSU Chancellor’s, Joseph I. Castro, office during a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach but has been postponed to catch the board during an in-person meeting.

Lesleeane Chavez, another CSUF student, will be continuing her courses online in the fall, which is more convenient for her schedule. She expects to return to campus once fully vaccinated, but she has decided to wait for now.

“Once the news was released that we have to be vaccinated in order to return to campus, it was hard news to take because I was hoping that wouldn’t happen,” Chavez said. “I had a feeling that it would be, but at the same time, I think it came a lot sooner than I expected.”

Chavez is taking advantage of the online classes available during the upcoming semester that fit her schedule. She will continue online learning until she is comfortable enough to get the vaccine.

“I am still kind of hesitant, but I feel like, at this point, I’m going to, in a sense, be forced to get vaccinated because, in order to complete my degree, I’m going to have to return to campus to complete my classes,” she said.

Chavez anticipated the CSU systems call for a vaccination mandate but was caught off guard with how fast it was announced. She isn’t just hesitant against the COVID-19 vaccine. It is her personal view of vaccines overall. Chavez has a daughter who is required to receive flu shots to attend school, so she understands it is inevitable.

“My biggest hesitancy with the COVID vaccine is that it is so new,” she said. “I would like to see long-term studies and the long-term side effects of it, which are my biggest concerns.”

Chavez is entirely supportive of anyone who decides to get vaccinated since her entire family has been vaccinated. She is cautious about where she goes and who visits to protect her family as she is aware of the effects that COVID-19 can have on others around her, like her grandmother and daughter.

CSUF students are required to wear their face masks at all times during in-person classes. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat

CSU Fullerton will require students and staff to show proof of vaccine that the FDA has fully approved if they want to opt-out of the weekly testing, according to its safety re-entry plan. The requirement is mandatory for those looking to return to campus, and Fullerton staff can now voluntarily upload their verification digitally.