Did student journalism get a university COVID policy reversed? Read the coverage.
A University of Chicago dining policy barring unvaccinated students from eating in on-campus dining halls was recently reversed.
'University administrators are so used to complete obedience from students that even the slightest bit of investigation throws them off course,' one student told Campus Reform.
A University of Chicago dining policy barring unvaccinated students from eating in on-campus dining halls was recently reversed, according to student reporting.
The reversal was initially reported by the campus newspaper Chicago Thinker.
University of Chicago freshman Daniel Schmidt told Campus Reform that “it's very likely that this policy was only reversed because the Chicago Thinker inquired about it.”
“University administrators are so used to complete obedience from students that even the slightest bit of investigation throws them off course. Conservative college students must use that to their advantage,” Schmidt concluded.
In a Jan. 27 email sent to students living in one University of Chicago dormitory obtained by the Chicago Thinker, a university-employed resident head stated that unvaccinated students “are not allowed to eat in the dining halls as it is considered an indoor Chicago dining and per the Chicago ordinated in place, any unvaccinated individual is not allowed to eat inside a restaurant.”
The policy was then confirmed by multiple resident employees, in addition to the Housing & Residence Life department after placing a phone call.
The Chicago Thinker pointed out to University of Chicago that the policy does not provide accommodations for the unvaccinated like the city ordinance regarding indoor dining does.
According to the city ordinance, individuals who “show the establishment proof of the medical or religious exemption and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours” are exempt from the mandate, and thus permitted to enter indoor dining facilities.
University of Chicago spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan denied the indoor dining policy to the Chicago Thinker in an email by stating that unvaccinated students living on campus are only instructed to “maintain six feet of distance from other students when dining.”
McSwiggan continued by stating that the University of Chicago “does not have additional vaccination requirements for students in dining commons. We apologize for any misunderstanding among students or staff.”
The resident head who sent out the indoor dining policy sent out a subsequent email informing students that the only policy governing unvaccinated students living on-campus is to “maintain six feet of distance from other students” when in dining commons.
“The University does not have additional vaccination requirements for students in dining commons. All resident students are permitted to eat in the dining halls or take a meal to go,” the resident head continued.
McSwiggan told Campus Reform, "There was no change to University policy. One month ago students in one residence hall received inaccurate dining information, which was corrected that week.
He also stated that the university's COVID policies "were last updated in December when the University instituted a COVID-19 booster shot requirement."
The university did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.