The Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees voted Oct. 11 to suspend the COVID-19 student vaccine mandate that was set to go into effect in spring 2023 and the employee mandate that was already in place.
The district was the last in Southern California to mandate a vaccine, and the only one to never enforce it on students.
“In many ways we delayed that enforcement because we didn’t want it to affect our enrollment,” said Chancellor Marvin Martinez, who was placed in charge of planning a safe return to campus for students and staff by the board earlier in the pandemic.” In many ways there was never any reason to enforce it. When we surveyed students after the policy was passed, the number saying they were vaccinated kept going up.”
The suspension means that the policy still exists in the event it is needed in the future, but will not go into effect at this time.
“We as a board have to vote to suspend it, and we would need to vote to unsuspend it in the future if laws or the county says we need to go back to doing all the things we had to do in 2020. I don’t feel like we’re moving towards that, i think we’re moving towards a herd immunity,”said Board President Tina Arias-Miller
Several other college districts in the region have also ended their own vaccine policies.