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$400 COVID-19 Vaccine Program for Students & Employees

Ouachita Baptist University will give a $400 grant to every student enrolled on Ouachita’s residential campus for the Fall 2021 semester as well as a $400 bonus for faculty and staff members who have been vaccinated by October 1, 2021. – deadline extended to October 4, 2021.

“A key resource for Ouachita being fully in person last year was having a medical doctor on staff, Dr. Wesley Kluck, who is also vice president for student development. His tireless study of COVID-19, the common-sense wisdom of colleagues and the good will of our campus community have helped us navigate the pandemic. It’s in that spirit that we made this decision to best position our campus to have the kind of college experience that brought each of us to Ouachita.” – Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita President

 

How do you participate?

  1. Confirm your eligibility.
    • Students: Only students enrolled on Ouachita’s residential campus for the fall semester are eligible for this program. Returning students may participate immediately. New students must first complete online check-in for the fall 2021 semester; online check-in is open Aug. 11-13. The vaccine isn’t required to attend or work at Ouachita; however, this program is only available to those who are vaccinated.
    • Employees: Benefits-eligible faculty and staff members who are working on Ouachita’s residential campus during September 2021 are eligible.
  2. Upload your official vaccination record to Ouachita’s Info Portal under the “Health Services” menu item. Employees who do not have portal access may email their record to covid@obu.edu or bring a hard copy to the Office of Health Services.
    • NOTE: Your vaccination card is not accepted for this program. You may request your official vaccination record from the location where you received the vaccine, your primary care physician or your state’s department of health. Those who were vaccinated in Arkansas may request it from Ouachita’s Office of Health Services through the upload portal.
  3. Wait for verification and payment. Ouachita’s Office of Health Services will verify vaccinations. The Office of Student Financial Services will credit student accounts for $400; student payments will be processed weekly. The Office of Human Resources will add $400 to employees’ next paycheck. It is considered taxable income. 
    • Submission deadlines for employees: Submit your record by the following dates for the bonus to be included in the corresponding month's paycheck.
      • For August payment, submit by Aug. 20.
      • For September payment, submit by Sept. 20.
      • For October payment, submit by Oct. 1.
  4. Beat the deadline. You must submit proof of two shots of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 1, 2021deadline extended to Oct. 4, 2021. (The program is retroactive for those who already received a vaccine.)
    • Keep in mind that the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be 3 weeks (or 21 days) after the first shot, and the Moderna vaccine’s second shot should be 4 weeks (or 28 days) after the first shot. To meet the deadline, you must get your first shot of the Moderna vaccine by Sept. 1 Sept. 4 or the first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by Sept. 7 Sept. 10.
    • Baptist Health Medical Center Arkadelphia will host a mobile, walk-in vaccine clinic on Ouachita's campus Friday, Sept. 10, from 1-3 p.m. They will be located on Ouachita Street in front of Berry Chapel and will administer first or second doses of the Pfizer vaccine or single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

 

Vaccine Program Frequently Asked Questions

By a more “typical year,” we mean that a higher vaccination rate on campus gives us the ability to:

  • Go maskless for indoor events;
  • Better protect the health and well-being of students and employees;
  • Stay active on campus even when exposed to the virus and classified as a “close contact”;
  • Experience normal occupancy for classrooms and other indoor venues like the student center;
  • Attend Chapel and other spiritual life activities;
  • Enjoy traditions like Tiger Tunes, fine arts events and athletic contests; and
  • Experience relationships more like they were designed to be.

Some universities are providing vaccine related recognition through the use of drawings that helps only a few students. We believe every student who has been vaccinated or becomes vaccinated should be equally rewarded.

On average, our students spend $300-400 per semester on books and supplies. This grant helps defray your educational costs and address some of the current inflationary pressures in the country.

The university received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help with COVID-19 related expenses. Increasing the vaccination rate and providing additional financial help to students is an important way to use these funds.

As of May 2021, about 45% of residential students and 80% of employees had received at least one dose. Even as the student body and employee community has shifted with classes and individuals both leaving and joining campus for the new school year, we estimate that the current rate is similar. This program will provide more accurate data. While we don’t have a vaccination goal, a higher rate for students will help us have a more typical year.

Many local pharmacies provide the vaccine, including nationwide retailers such as Walmart and Walgreens. There are several online resources for finding a vaccine provider near you, including vaccines.gov and your state’s Department of Health.

The only employees on campus who know vaccination information are employees in the Office of Health Services, and HIPAA prevents the release of the information. Through this initiative, staff in the Office of Student Financial Services will know, and they’re prevented by FERPA from sharing the information.

No, that’s not the intent. We believe the vaccine is safe, and in the spirit of “Take Care, Tigers,” being vaccinated is a way to care for ourselves and care for others in our highly residential and tight-knit campus. We recognize that some students and/or their parents, for various reasons, don’t wish to be vaccinated. While we highly encourage the vaccine, we expect employees to avoid pressuring students. And, we ask students to avoid pressuring one another.

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