Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Banner and KC skyline at Boulevardia.
Boulevardia 2024: Kansas City's ultimate urban music fest rocks Crown Center
Catie Walker, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024

Kansas City partied last weekend on Grand Boulevard at Crown Center for Boulevardia 2024, KC’s largest urban street music festival. The...

Taking place from June 7-9, the event featured performers, businesses and other organizations.
Kansas City PrideFest: A vibrant celebration of love and acceptance
Catie Walker and Evelyn BergerJune 11, 2024

  Kansas City celebrated the LGBTQ+ community at the 47th annual PrideFest and parade this weekend at Theis Park.    “Pride gives the...

Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
Remembering G. Fred Wickman: Journalist, Professor and Mentor
Melissa Reeves, Guest Writer • May 16, 2024

On April 27, 2024, former Kansas City Star columnist, UMKC professor and U-News (now called Roo News) advisor G. Fred Wickman passed away after...

Kansas City has a chance to advance to the Summit League Championship for the first time since 2011.
Roos Softball Advances to Championship Semifinal
Zach Gunter, Sports Editor • May 10, 2024

  Kansas City has thrilled viewers in the first three games of the Summit League Softball Championship.   Entering as the third seed,...

A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
UMKC Students Received University Pushback at Pro-Palestine Protest
Aurora Wilson and Maisy BlantonApril 29, 2024

  Over 150 students showed up to participate in a protest in solidarity with Palestine and other protests across the nation on Monday.   Around...

Opinion: Mandate vaccines everywhere

UMKC requires faculty, staff and medical students to all be fully vaccinated. (UMKC)

If you saw the headline and chose to read this story, dear reader, you must fall into one of three factions:  

  • I’m curious, let’s see where this goes.
  • Hello! I’m the choir, please preach to me. 
  • Hell no! Vaccine mandates are un-American and violate my rights!

Let’s all take a deep breath. That feels nice, right? Now let’s begin with stating some simple facts. 

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has full FDA approval. Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine has emergency FDA approval, as does Moderna’s vaccine. The CDC recommends that all eligible individuals get COVID vaccines, which are free and available everywhere in the US. Over 4.7 million people have died of COVID worldwide. 

Despite these facts, we somehow find ourselves in a place of political division over a medical procedure. At a national level, opportunistic politicians are falling all over themselves to squeal about how a vaccine mandate would equate to tyranny. 

But was it tyranny when George Washington mandated smallpox inoculations for his troops in 1777?

Yes, our country has a founding ideal of individual rights and liberties. But we also have an equally strong ideal of collective responsibility. It’s even on our money – “e pluribus unum.” That Latin phrase means “out of many, one,” and it’s the traditional motto of the United States. 

It’s tempting to dunk on unscrupulous politicians like Josh Hawley, Jim Jordan, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson. It would be easy to sit behind my keyboard and flame anti-vax crackpots. 

What’s really hard is getting through to the unvaccinated. 

We’ve used the carrot so far: lotteries for cash prizes, free Superbowl tickets, free beer, free hunting and fishing licenses, scholarships, driving laps at Talladega, hot dogs, and donuts. In Washington they even offered a program called “Joints for Jabs,” where people can receive legal marijuana for getting a COVID shot. 

We’ve tried damn near everything.

We’ve squeezed these incentives for all they are worth to get vaccine numbers up, and there’s no juice left. The unvaccinated no longer seem interested in carrots. So, the time has come to cut the carrot off the string and use the stick. 

We should demand that individuals do what is best for the collective and get vaccinated. Worldwide and nationwide mandates would be nice, but let’s start with UMKC. 

UMKC already has a limited COVID vaccine mandate. The university requires faculty, staff and medical students to all be fully vaccinated. Why not have one for the rest of us? I’d feel a lot better if every cramped classroom that I walked into was filled with vaccinated people. No one wants to return to remote learning, and a vaccine mandate is the best way to avoid that fate. 

UMKC should set an example to its community. Roos only move forward, right? Rockhurst is right next door, and they have a mandate. William Jewell has a mandate. Hell, KU had a small protest demanding that the university mandate a vaccine. Over 600 universities nationwide have mandated full vaccinations for students, and UMKC is falling behind.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld these vaccine mandates. The high court also has previously ruled that requiring vaccinations is constitutional for over 200 years

The unvaccinated should not be welcome on campus. They endanger each of us and themselves. It’s a choice to refuse the shot. That choice is your right, but it’s a choice that has consequences. You can make the choice to go to a bar, get blitzed and get behind the wheel of a car. Not getting vaccinated is the same choice. 

UMKC already has the power and ability to influence personal choices. We can’t smoke anywhere on campus, for example. So what seems more dangerous to you: secondhand smoke or secondhand COVID?

This university has made me switch to Outlook from Gmail, take 13 credit hours of French, sign master promissory notes for student loans and pay $270 for parking. It’s not unreasonable, then, for UMKC to ask you to take 20 minutes out of your day to walk to a CVS and get a free shot. 

[email protected]

View Comments (1)
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (1)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    JimmyOct 7, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    I firmly support the message in this piece. For athe faults some may find with a federal mandate, these constitutional complaints simply do not apply to the states. States have broad “police powers” and these powers allow for states to mandate vaccines. See Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905). Moreover, Justice Amy Coney-Barrett decided to leave Indian University’s mandate in place. Please let this be food for thought.