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During the academic year, Southeast Missouri State University's student-led publication, the Arrow, contributes campus news for KRCU's digital and broadcast audience.

University Introduces Vaccine Incentive To Student Organizations, Offers Monetary Prize

Southeast Missouri State University

The Redhawk Vaccine Incentive Program recently put out a new challenge in hopes of reaching a campus-wide 70% vaccination rate. 

Clubs and student organizations with the most vaccinated members can win a monetary prize.

Associate Vice President of Student Life Bruce Skinner said this incentive was launched to reach a campus-wide 70% vaccination rate. 

"That is the number one goal and the reasoning behind us offering this prize other than the fact that we want to keep everyone safe," he said. 

Skinner said that the incentive is broken into three different "populations" in order to "cast as wide of a net as possible"

"The first one is just the typical student club. For example The Barbecue Club, The Scuba Club, Tai Chi Club. The second group is the fraternities and sororities, and the third group is our Club Sports teams, for example the Club Sport Soccer team or Club Sport Volleyball team.

Esports Club president Corey Johnson said that his group was notified of this incentive. Since being given the information, he has been spreading the word to his club members and encouraging them to take the opportunity to receive the vaccination if they choose to do so.

"I received multiple emails about it, and brought it straight to our board. From that point we really jumped on it," Johnson said. "After we sent out information in our group Discord, we told our members about the different locations on campus and around Cape that they can go to get vaccinated. We told them times, locations, everything they needed to know. It's free, so we are definitely encouraging it, but we would never force it upon our members."

Johnson said before the incentive was offered, the vaccine was not a topic often brought up among the members. Johnson was glad to see a positive response.

"More money just means more things that we could do throughout the semester." Johnson said. "Just having more money in our bank account means different events that we could do in the future. I think that there might have been an increase with vaccinations in our club after that. I don't know if that's continued or declined since, but I think that they [the members] are going to be behind it for the most part. I really believe that they're going to try to help out the club wherever necessary."

Dungeons and Dragons club secretary Bethany Draper said this new incentive is a good way to encourage students to continue to be vaccinated.

"I feel this is a great way to approach people who have not been vaccinated on a more personal level. I think that offering a prize to a broader audience will help more people take this opportunity," Draper said. "This is a really great way to get us closer to that goal, and I hope we do so we can have our extended break."

Draper said if her club of over 100 members receives the incentive, they will use their winnings to expand their group resources and make sure playing is accessible to more members.

"If we had more money we would get things to benefit our group members. Prizes to give the players, books on how to play, or we would have an event! This game comes with a lot of accessories, so purchasing dice sets or miniatures that people could check out and play with is something I think we would definitely jump for," she said.

For more information on the incentive programs offered at SEMO visit their website.

The Southeast Arrow is a contributing partner with KRCU Public Radio.