MSU sees thousands more students come since vaccine mandate

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A face mask on the Sparty statue inside the the Michigan State University Student Union is seen on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. Students at Michigan universities are receiving emails from their schools welcoming them back for the fall, but a cloud of concern is hovering because of the coronavirus pandemic. To go online or to come in person has been the debate, but since Michigan State University announced Tuesday it will go online for the next semester, the debate is reaching a fever pitch. (AP Photo/Anna Nichols)

East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State students were back on campus today, but a number of those expected to be in East Lansing for the occasion were not.

Nearly 400 students have un-enrolled from the university since July 30, the day MSU announced it would require vaccines for all faculty and staff.

It has given an answer to the question:

Would vaccine requirements deter students from coming to Michigan State?

What was found is- not really.

394 students withdrew over the past 33 days, of course that can’t all be attributed to the mandate.

But on the flip side, MSU officials say more than 3,000 enrolled during that same period. Officials say it’s a sign showing the school did what it’s population wanted.

“We have record breaking freshman student enrollment,” said Dan Olsen, a deputy spokesman for MSU. “It reinforces that Spartans and willing and wanting to do the right thing.”

Scott Goldman is one of those more than 9200 new first-year students. He would’ve started in 2020, but took a gap year because he wanted a more normal experience. He says the school requiring the shot is the only reason he has it.

“No I was not going to get the vaccine,” Goldman said. “I’m definitely still happy to be here, the vaccine was not a reason I was not going to come.”

Others, like Julie Radford, reacted differently. A senior in her final semester, Radford is just a handful credits away from graduating but didn’t want to get the shot for a number of reasons so rather than transfer, she says she’s avoiding campus.

“For me personally I knew I would apply for a religious exemption, but I knew I would go straight to online if I didn’t hear in time which I haven’t,” Radford said.

MSU officials didn’t have numbers available for these same dates last year or in 2019 to show if there was any similar enrollment change.

But they did tell me the school’s ‘melt students’ or those who pay their deposit but for some reason or another don’t show up for class, is on par with pre-covid years.

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