EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University made it official today — vaccines will not be required for students or staff in the upcoming school year.

“We’re so excited about what’s happening … we’re now around 2 cases per 100,000, the lowest rate since March of 2020, so we’re of course going to utilize that to come back to campus in I hope the most open way we can,” said Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley. “We’re going to follow all the CDC guidelines, the MIOSHA and state guidelines on how to be safe and we’re never going to stray from those going forward.”

That means thousands of students will get a more normal sense of a year in college. While East Lansing mayor Aaron Stephens says he absolutely wants that, he was firmly against this decision.

“I mean this isn’t great…the vaccine mandate should be there for the students,” Stephens said. “I don’t mean this as a dig at students. They’re going to socialize they’re going to parties especially now that we’re kind of coming out of this situation.

“The only thing that’s going to make sure we have that population vaccinated is a mandate.”

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail echoed Stephens’ thoughts.

“I certainly would prefer they require vaccine especially in those settings,” Vail said. “It is concerning as we head into the fall and know we’re going back into a college environment … but that’s their call, not mine.”

If there is a rise in cases next fall… those who aren’t vaccinated may have to begin health screenings again or other preventative measures. Those who are vaccinated do not.

President Stanley — who has his MD and a background in infectious diseases — says he wants every single person to get vaccinated and he believes the best way for that to happen is through education and options.

“We want to keep educating people on the importance of vaccine,” Stanley said. “There are some people in some groups who are resistant to getting vaccinated, some with historical concerns. We want to work with them, educate them and give them time to accept it.”