SWOSU students can get the $100 without being vaccinated. Here’s how


Johannes Becht, News Editor

Some students criticized SWOSU’s decision to give $100 to every student who is vaccinated, labeling it “unfair” or “discrimination.” However, according to President Dr. Diana “Diane” Lovell, you don’t necessarily have to be vaccinated to receive those $100.

In an interview with The Southwestern on Thursday, she mentioned the possibility to upload religious or medical objections instead of a vaccination record. She further said that this possibility is stated in the Terms & Conditions of the incentive program that can be found on the SWOSU website.

Indeed, the Terms & Conditions state that “individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to medical conditions or sincere religious objections may fill out the exemption/declination form and also be entered to win prizes.”

If you object for medical reasons, you’ll need to provide supporting documentation from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other licensed health care provider. If you object for religious reasons, you need to attach a written and signed statement detailing the religious basis for your objection to a COVID-19 vaccination and the religious principle(s) that guide your objections to a COVID-19 vaccination.

According to Dr. Lovell, the incentive program is a result of limited opportunities to otherwise slow the spread of COVID-19 such as mask mandates, which SWOSU can’t implement due to legislation by the State of Oklahoma prohibiting public schools and universities to force students to wear masks.

The money that is used to pay the students, approximately $500,000, is coming from federal funds that have to be spent for COVID related mitigation.

Dr. Lovell: “We’d rather go to our students, who can use it for what they think they’d like to use it for.”