Student Senate talks vaccine incentive campaign

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McKenna Scherer

Winona State University’s Student Senate meets every Tuesday evening, Jan. 18 being senate’s second meeting of the semester. Senate discussed a student-led vaccine incentive program that was tabled until Jan. 26’s meeting among other topics.

McKenna Scherer, editor-in-chief

Winona State University’s Student Senate discussed a ‘vaccine incentive’ campaign among other topics at its second meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Several student senators commented on the proposed campaign, which will be voted on during Tuesday, Jan. 25’s senate meeting. The campaign would aim to reward students who have already gotten their COVID-19 vaccination shots and incentivize those students who have not received the vaccine to do so.

The campaign would be set to run from the remainder of this January through March.

Prizes would be awarded to students who fit the proposed criteria of the campaign, which fall under three tiers: tier one would include students who have received their first and second dose of the vaccine prior to this January; tier two would include students who receive their COVID booster shot before the end of the campaign; tier three would include students who receive their first and second doses any time during the campaign.

Each tier would offer different prizes, each worth upwards of $100, the campaign itself costing more than $5,000 to fund.

Students would submit their vaccine status via an anonymous online survey with winners in each tier being randomly selected after the campaign.

Prizes would include $250 gift cards to places like Target and the Winona State Bookstore, Apple products, Minnesota Twins tickets and more.

The money to fund the proposed campaign would come from the Student Activities Fund, which currently holds upwards of $160,000.

“We’re one of the only schools in Minnesota–the only I know of–that is doing this and it’s super cool that it’s student led,” student senator Mitchell Prosser said. “I’m very excited to see it rolled out and I really hope it incentivizes people.”

Tracy Rahim, advisor of Student Senate and associate director of Student Activities and Leadership at Winona State, told the senators she was proud of the work they put into planning the campaign in collaboration with various areas of the university.

“I’ve talked to colleagues from around the state and like Senator Prosser said, I’m not aware of any other colleges that are specifically doing incentive programs that are student led,” Rahim said.

Student Senate’s Judicial Committee also moved to dissolve two campus clubs: Delta Sigma Pi and Phi Theta Chi.

“In the fall, we made a bylaw change that allowed [Delta Sigma Pi] to still be a club through fall semester, but it only gave them until spring semester to get those club numbers up and they have not done so. So, they will be dissolved,” Vice President of Student Senate, Malorie Olson, said.

Phi Theta Chi was also dissolved due to lack of members.

Elise Gort, senate’s Student Services chairperson, shared that she spoke with Housing and Residence Life about distributing condoms and dental dams to students living in on-campus housing.

Senate Chairperson of the Equity and Inclusive Excellence Committee, Anasia Phillips, also announced the committee would be bringing two motions forward at senate’s next meeting and are currently planning for Black History Month.

The Alliance of Student Organizations (ASO) Director, Visara Sok, also announced the spring club fair will be on Feb. 9 at 12 p.m.

In adherence to the college’s two-week pause of in-person club meetings due to COVID safety concerns following winter break, this past Tuesday’s Student Senate meeting was held via Zoom. The two-week period ends on Monday, Jan. 24 and clubs will be able to resume in-person activities.