(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) – Indiana University has announced incentives for students and staff to supply proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The incentive program replaces a plan to require students to submit proof of vaccination. IU dialed back that plan on Tuesday, days after Senate Republicans and Attorney General Todd Rokita contended it would violate a new state law. Officially, the university is still requiring the vaccination, but on the honor system — students, faculty and staff will have to sign a form saying they’ve been vaccinated.
Instead of a requirement, choosing to upload your vaccine card will enter you in three weekly drawings. At least six students on each IU campus will win $500 in parking, dining or bookstore credit. One grand prize winner chosen July 2 will get a year’s tuition.
There’ll be a separate prize each week for one faculty or staff member on each campus. Winners will choose among an Apple Watch, AirPods Pro, a JBL speaker, or a Yeti cooler, with a grand prize of season tickets to either the Colts or the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
University spokesman Chuck Carney says while IU’s medical and public health schools have repeatedly explained that the vaccine is safe, the hope is that the prospect of winning something may persuade some students still on the fence to get the shot.
Carney says administrators talked with Senate Republicans before announcing the plan, and says they believe it addresses the legal concerns about the state’s new ban on “vaccine passports.”
IU’s announcement comes a week after Purdue announced 10 students who supply proof of vaccination will win a year’s tuition. Purdue will hold the drawing for the winners July 29.