Athletic Department following school vaccine policy

Encourages booster shot but not requiring it


Photo courtesy of www.cwu.edu_emergency_vaccination-information.

Jared Galanti, Sports Editor

The COVID-19 booster shot is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help protect against the new omicron variant. According to Director of Athletics Dennis Francois,  while CWU is highly recommending it for all students including student-athletes, it has not yet been mandated.

“We aren’t requiring it. We are definitely encouraging it for sure to make sure they are staying healthy,” Francois said. “We haven’t mandated it yet, but we’ve had a number of them … get the booster.”

With many COVID-19 variants spreading throughout the world, the sports world has been hit hard. Many colleges across the country are dealing with outbreaks throughout their athletic programs, having to postpone games later in the year to allow teams to get healthy. 

In the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) there have already been over 20 basketball games postponed due to an outbreak among the programs. 

According to Francois, CWU didn’t have to postpone a game during fall quarter due to a COVID-19 outbreak within their program. This, according to Francois, might be due in part to CWU’s mandatory vaccine requirement for all student athletes before they were allowed to practice. 

According to Francois, all CWU student-athletes have complied with the mandate. Francois said if an athlete refused to comply they would still be on that team’s roster and would still receive their athletic aid. However, they would not get to travel with their teammates or practice. 

“They would not be able to participate in team activities,” Francois said. “So any in-person team activities they would not be allowed to be a part of.”

Francois gave credit to student-athletes and coaches for following protocols put in place by CWU to allow the sports teams to compete through their entire seasons. 

“We still follow our protocols on campus, the things that we need to do to keep each other healthy and safe and a lot of that credit to our student-athletes and how well they followed these protocols and it’s tough, year two of it,” Francois said. “It was a little bit different [this year] knowing we were able to compete. We were able to compete for conference championships.”

This streak came to an end this past weekend when two women’s basketball games were canceled due to health and safety protocols within the CWU locker room. 

Some big moments from fall quarter included CWU football capturing it’s fourth straight GNAC title and making the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Women’s volleyball went to its ninth straight regional tournament.