UW System President Tommy Thompson encourages UWO students to get vaccinated

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 4:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - On the eve of the new school year, students at UW-Oshkosh had a special visitor on campus. UW System President and former Wisconsin Governor, Tommy Thompson, met with students to thank them for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

There’s a buzz on campus as UWO prepares for the start of the school year. According to Kim Langolf, Director of Risk Sponsor Programs, “We’re ready for them to come back and it’s great to see so many kids out today. It’s been two years since we’ve seen anything like this so it’s great.”

Oshkosh, like other UW campuses, is not requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, it’s asking students to self report if they’ve been vaccinated. Unvaccinated students are then required to submit to weekly testing. “So far we haven’t had any issues with misleading us,” adds Langolf.

Campus officials say it will be about a week before they know the vaccination rate of its students, but we know that UW-Madison reports 90% of its campus is vaccinated.

UW System President Tommy Thompson, who met with students in Oshkosh, to thank them for being vaccinated is is also encouraging the unvaccinated to get a shot -- promoting UW’s “Vax Up! 70 for 70” campaign.

According to Thompson, “You have to get 70% of your students vaccinated, if you do, then you’re going to be eligible for one of 70 full scholarships, a full ride which equates to about $7,000. And, on top of that, the good chancellor is giving away 10 scholarships worth a $1,000 each.”

In addition the “Vax Up! 70 for 70” program, Thompson says he supports UWO’s decision to require masks be worn when indoors. The mandate has been met with opposition from state legislators, but the system president says he’s not playing politics adding, “I don’t want to fight with the legislature, but my responsibility is to keep the campuses open. I made a decision and the legislature, I think is just wrong. I think they’re wrong on policy, I think they’re wrong on the law.”

And Thompson said he will continue to work with campuses like UWO to make sure students and faculty and staff remain safe.

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