‘Shoot your shot’: SC State University offers vaccination incentive program

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – As part of South Carolina State University’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 among campus community members, Interim President Alexander Conyers has initiated a series of incentives encouraging vaccination against the virus.

“By getting vaccinated and adhering to our mask policy, you will not only protect yourself from the virus’ threat to your health, but also help your fellow Bulldogs,” he said. “We can all keep enjoying campus life – football and basketball games, homecoming, live music, pep rallies, you name it – if we all roll up our sleeves and get vaccinated.“Shoot your shot, Bulldogs,” Conyers said. “Each of you is responsible for your own health, but in a living and learning community, we have a duty to protect one another.

“So please, get vaxxed for the Bulldogs.”

With that goal in mind, Conyers encourages students and employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible if they have not already.

As an added incentive, the interim president has authorized weekly drawings for those who receive the vaccine. Students, faculty and staff members are asked to voluntarily upload their vaccination cards to enter the pools for the drawings.

Starting Sept. 10, SC State will conduct drawings each Friday for 10 weeks. In each of those weeks, the university will provide:

  • Eight $1,000 rewards for students.
  • Two $1,000 cash rewards for faculty/staff members.

Students and employees may voluntarily upload their vaccination cards on SC State’s website, regardless of when they were vaccinated. 

“No one here wants to return to emergency remote instruction. If we are to continue to offer in-person classes and on-campus residency, we must raise our vaccination rate to include the vast majority of those we serve,” Conyers said.“As a steward of safety for our families, SC State must do its best to protect our students, employees and visitors from the dangers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Conyers said. “Vaccinations, face coverings and other precautions are the only way we can provide a traditional campus experience for students. Living and working in close quarters make college campus populations particularly vulnerable.

SC State student Justin Mckie, who was vaccinated in May, said while he thought a majority of students already had been vaccinated, the incentive would encourage even more of his peers to do so.

“I feel like it’s a good push to get everyone on board,” he said. “Money will make everybody act a little different. That’s a good way to get the student body actually to get engaged and get vaccinated.”

Mckie said the fate of on-campus classes and activities rests with students.

“Homecoming is really in our hands,” Mckie said. “It’s up to us as a student body. If you want Homecoming, then we know what we are up against.  We have to get vaccinated. We have to get tested and wear our masks. If not, there’s no homecoming.”

SC State requires all students and employees to be tested for COVID-19 biweekly regardless of vaccination status and requires everyone – all students, employees and visitors – to wear face coverings indoors and in group settings.

Author avatar
Sam Watson
Director of University Relations | swatson2@scsu.edu | 803-533-3603 (Desk) | 803-747-1223 (Cell)