University President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval and Associated Students Inc. President D’Aungillique Jackson discussed the re-implementation of ID access for buildings, contact tracing and employee vaccination during the Sept. 30 student forum.
Jackson addressed COVID-19 contact tracing by elaborating on a recent policy she advocated for at the university level involving the usage of Fresno State ID cards.
With this policy, officials will be able to track which buildings students enter by swiping IDs in the case that they test positive for COVID-19.
“In order to enter [a] space, you’ll now have to swipe your key card in order to gain access… to help us keep track of students and ensure that our contact tracing is performing at the highest level,” said Jackson.
The current policy proposal is based on a previous university policy in which students had to swipe their IDs and complete the daily COVID-19 screening prior to entering the Henry Madden Library during the summer.
Jiménez-Sandoval acknowledged that members of the public or subcontractors who wish to use these facilities must be vaccinated for COVID-19 and show proof of that as well.
“If it’s a subcontractor or if it’s someone doing business with the university, they do have to get vaccinated and they do have to show proof as well within that,” said Jiménez-Sandoval.
He noted that the policy change could help ensure students complete their daily or weekly COVID-19 testing. Should they not, students could expect to lose access to places such as the student recreation center or the library.
“So, if a person has an exception and they’re not testing, they will not be able to access that particular building,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Currently, there is no date for implementation of the COVID-19 ID swipe policy. Jackson hopes to expand this policy to every building on campus that has keycard swiping capabilities.
Several students raised concerns about the policy since they have not received their student IDs as this would inhibit them from being able to access buildings on campus should the policy take effect.
Jiménez-Sandoval and Jackson said they were unaware of the issue and would investigate it in due time.
“I was not [aware] but we will certainly… look into this now that this has been brought to our attention,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Jackson reminded students that the final day to submit paperwork for self-certification of the COVID-19 vaccine was Sept. 30.
She also confirmed that students will not be dropped from their classes should they not submit their vaccination record in time. However, students could expect a hold on their student portals for the upcoming semester.
“If they’re unable to certify, there is conversation about [a] hold on students on their portal for next semester… Making it a little bit harder for them to register for classes until they are able to certify, but students will not be dropped from the class,” Jackson said.
After The Collegian reported the discrepancy of vaccination rates between students and university employees – 86% of students were vaccinated while only 68% of employees were – Jackson addressed this at the forum.
She acknowledged that the primary reason behind the lower vaccination rates among Fresno State employees revolves around negotiations between the university and the employee unions on campus.
“I think that a major discrepancy in the numbers really lies in the fact that we did not get to a point of having the union approve the vaccine mandate until just a few weeks ago,” Jackson said.
Jackson said negotiations involved much back-and-forth between union representatives, university officials and the chancellor’s office attempting to come to a middle ground.
These negotiations led to the later start in Fresno State employee self-certification compared with students who began COVID-19 self-certification one month prior to Fresno State employees, excluding auxiliaries.
According to Jackson, employees have until Oct. 27 to submit proof that they have received both doses of the vaccine.