Faculty Beg For A Vaccine Mandate

Jonathan Weaver, Staff Writer

over. Covid-19 is a public health threat and policies need to reflect this. Variants will continue to emerge unless we have an increase in the numbers of those fully vaccinated. Many crowded social events in the tri-state area mandate proof of full vaccination. Does it make sense that for our young adult population of students, we wouldn’t require the same, especially for those attending face-to-face classes. I don’t understand the apathy that has developed among those not promoting full vaccination. Lives are at stake, including students, faculty and staff members here at Brookdale.”
Michele Halat, an assistant professor in the nursing department, was one of a few people who contributed to the board of trustees Oct. 26 meeting with a written submission, quoted above. To back her reasoning for wanting Brookdale to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, Halat provided a personal example of how the pandemic has had a tragic impact on her and her loved ones.
“I’ve lost people I care about to this disease, and I don’t want to lose any more, and I don’t want my family to have to worry about me being exposed on a regular basis to unvaccinated people because I come to work here,” Halat wrote.
“Please, please, please consider implementing a vaccine mandate as soon as possible. We’re almost two years into this pandemic… I’ve already lost a child in this lifetime. I don’t even want to think about losing another to a disease I can’t cure. But I, and the rest of the residents of this country can flatten the curve of infection and deaths by being vaccinated. It’s a no-brainer to me. I don’t understand why it’s even an option not to be vaccinated. Why do people need to die? Thank you for allowing my voice to be heard.”
Also during the meeting, Assistant Professor Jack Ryan expressed his support for vaccines. “I want to talk about the mandatory vaccinations. This is something that, really, we need to do. We need to do it to be part of solving a problem that we all realize is devastating us. It is the kind of thing that if it was anything else that was not publicized, we would be coming together.”
“I just don’t get it. I don’t get why we aren’t masking, social distancing, but most importantly, why we aren’t asking people that if you cannot bring yourself to be vaccinated, then you should not be in in-person classes, of which I teach,” Ryan said.
Additionally, the Brookdale Faculty Association sent a letter to the board that was also read into the minutes asking that the board require vaccinations.
Earlier in the meeting, Chhange Executive Director Sara Brown presented a PowerPoint of the organization’s mission statement and upcoming events that will be held to commemorate the lives of families who have been affected by genocide and racial prejudice. She emphasized the objective of Chhange, the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education, saying that it teaches the history of genocides so people can be aware of the rise of xenophobia in our world today and help contribute to abolish it.
Brown highlighted some upcoming events, including the Nov. 3 Virtual Gala and Tribute Journal event featuring a keynote speech by Ruth K. Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor, noted sex therapist and radio personality.
Chhange, which can be visited at Chhange.org, is located in the library of the Lincroft campus