A Covid pass should be introduced on campus

A good idea, or not?
Illustration Larissa Mulder/Shutterstock

You need a coronavirus entry pass at most places where a lot of people gather, from the pub to a festival or a student society clubhouse. But it is not required for classes on campus. What do students and staff think about that?

Ingrid Hijman, head of the Student Service Centre

‘NO coronavirus entry pass should be brought in for education. Education must be as accessible as possible and no one should be excluded. Including people who are not vaccinated.

It is also impossible to implement. The unvaccinated would have to be tested no more than 24 hours before every class, somewhere in Ede. That is a massive barrier. And even if you could get tested on campus, it’s not doable. Where are you supposed to check the QR codes? On all the roads into the campus? At the entrance to every building? For every classroom? Can you see how it would work?

I know there are vulnerable people who say: it is safer for me if an entry pass is introduced. But I think the main way to make it safer is to talk about the best way to look out for each other.’

Sjoerd van Asseldonk (24), external commissioner at Unitas

‘It’s good that everything can open up again thanks to the QR code. If everyone has to show that code in all places where people gather, then I think it should be required in education too, actually. It’s a bit strange otherwise, isn’t it? Because at the university you do have contact with a lot of people. Why wouldn’t it be necessary there, if it is necessary in catering outlets?

On the other hand, it remains a thorny issue. You can’t just exclude people from education. There are vulnerable people who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons. That’s a group you don’t want to exclude. Yes, they can get tested, but when the test location is on an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere in Ede, how accessible is that? Good luck with that if you’re not mobile!’

Ignas Heitkönig, assistant professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

‘I don’t have strong views on this, but I incline towards “no”. As I see it, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is very sensible and shows a great sense of responsibility. By doing so you help stem the spread of the virus and you reduce the still tremendously high pressure on the healthcare sector. My guess is that there are very few people at university whose immune systems cannot cope with a vaccine. If there are any, they could take classes online if necessary. Those who just don’t want to get vaccinated are now largely protected on campus by the vaccinated.

Rather than introducing a Covid pass, I would prefer to see that we are allowed to ask each other about whether we’ve been vaccinated. That is more in keeping with the academic culture than a stamp on your forehead or a tick on your phone.’

Jonathan Hoornaert (18), Bachelor’s student of Biotechnology

‘I am against a coronavirus entry pass for education. Through education you learn to think critically. If you introduce an entry pass, you exclude precisely the people you hope will learn to think critically. And then there are also people who can’t get vaccinated for health reasons.

It remains a tricky question, of course: it’s a moral dilemma between safety and what is ethically right. Perhaps it could work if you could either show a QR code or do a self-test on the spot. So you don’t have to go to Ede every day to get tested, because that’s just not doable.’

Circe van der Heijden (21), Master’s student of Urban Environmental Management

‘I’m in favour of the entry pass, but not in education. Education is for everyone, and no pass should block access. Nearly all students are vaccinated and if people opt out for personal reasons, they are within their rights. It would also mean that you have to have your phone on you at all times, whereas I often leave mine at home so I can concentrate better.

I haven’t got a QR code yet. That’s because I’ve had Covid, but I don’t have evidence of having recovered from it because I didn’t get tested at the GGD (the municipal health service). I went somewhere else where I got an appointment faster. A certificate of recovery only counts if it’s from the GGD, so I had to wait for my second jab, which I got last Monday. Then you have to wait two weeks before your Covid pass is valid. That’s a bit annoying. My year group sorority is celebrating an anniversary with an activity every day. That means I have to cycle to Ede every day to get tested. I fell between two systems, somewhat.’

What is your opinion about this? Tell us in the comments below!

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