KPU should look into prize initiatives to encourage vaccinations

Rewarding students like the University of Lethbridge plans to do could help stop the spread

(Kristen Frier)

As more people receive their first vaccine dose for COVID-19, post-secondary institutions across British Columbia prepare to welcome back students for the fall semester, including our own Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

While there is still some uncertainty about how universities will adapt to having students and professors return amidst the ongoing pandemic, some people are still undecided on whether to get the vaccine.

However, one university plans to provide students with some extra incentive to get vaccinated.

The University of Lethbridge in Alberta recently announced a contest that students can enter if they have gotten their first vaccine before Sept. 8. Nine lucky winners can get their tuition and fees covered for the fall 2021 semester. Other prizes include a gift card for the university’s bookstore, Bridge Bucks, which is money stored on a campus ID card at the university, and even socks.

To enter the contest, students must be enrolled in a class for fall 2021 and submit an entry form before Sept. 8. The prize draw will occur on Sept. 10, and winners must provide proof of their vaccination to claim their prize.

It would be cool to see KPU do something like this for students and even staff for the fall semester. While this does not affect my decision to get vaccinated for the virus, as I have already gotten my first dose, it would be nice to provide some incentive for others to follow and do the same, and reward people for doing their part to protect others over the past several months.

Like uLeth, KPU could also give out something like tuition waivers for the fall or even for a later semester considering the financial difficulty faced by some students due to the pandemic. This would actually give the university a way to give back to the community in two important ways at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

Even if the university chooses not to go that route, there are other options for things that could be awarded as prizes, such as gift cards for the university bookstore or the cafeterias on campus.

Though this strategy isn’t exactly essential or necessary to get students vaccinated, it could still be helpful even though many people already want to get vaccinated and try to return to some normalcy as soon as possible.

However, adding more reasons to want to help minimize the threat of a virus that has impacted the entire world would be more than welcome. It would be nice to reward some of those who have done their part to protect others from getting infected during the pandemic.

If uLeth’s contest also happens at KPU, I would definitely enter to try and receive a prize. Since I have been doing as much as possible to minimize the spread of the virus, why not participate in something to potentially get rewarded for my efforts? Also, who wouldn’t jump at a chance to get free stuff?