staff council 2019

The WVU Staff Council poses for a photo with President Gee in 2019.

The West Virginia University Staff Council said they strongly encourage vaccination in a recent statement but did not give support for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

"Classified Staff Council strongly encourages all Staff members to get a vaccine to both protect their own health and the health of our community," the Council wrote in a statement released this week. "As the situation in our state becomes more dire, it is important to protect yourself now."

The Council conducted a survey of 772 classified staff members and around 55% said they would be in favor of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all students and employees. Around 45% said they would oppose such a measure.

Both results are close to within the 5% margin of error.

"As seen by our recent poll, a mandate is popular within a small majority of the staff population," the Council wrote. "However, based on comments there is also support for the vaccine in those who do not wish to see a mandate."

The results of the survey show that the WVU staff are more evenly divided on a mandate, compared to students and faculty.

In a rare assembly of almost every faculty member this month, the faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of a mandate. The Student Government Association passed a similar resolution last week.

There are just over 1,500 classified staff members at WVU and just under half responded to the survey.

"If you have fears regarding the vaccine, please contact your Doctor as they can help you make the best choice for your own medical situation," the Council stated. "Classified Staff Council will continue to support all Staff and help them navigate any new challenges that may arise as the pandemic continues."