News Release: UWL hits 70% student vaccination goal, pledges to go beyond


Photo submitted by Kyle Farris.

UWL Chancellor Joe Gow speaking on the 70% vaccination rate.

Kyle Farris, Guest Contributor

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is the first comprehensive campus in UW System to reach a 70% student vaccination rate — a System-wide goal established this summer as part of the “70 for 70” campaign. 

Visiting campus Wednesday to promote vaccinations, System Interim President Tommy Thompson praised UWL students for creating a culture of responsibility and thanked UWL officials for their leadership throughout the pandemic. 

“We want students to have the best experience possible, and to do that, they need to be safe and healthy,” Thompson said. “Students are excited about being back on campus and attending classes in person. There’s also a responsibility for students to get vaccinated to keep themselves and their professors safe.”

The vaccination campaign “is working at La Crosse,” he continued, “and we hope it works at all of our other campuses.”

By reaching 70%, UWL has unlocked at least seven $7,000 scholarships from UW System, which will be distributed by drawing in mid-October. Students must be fully vaccinated and must grant UWL’s Student Health Center permission to confirm their status, to be eligible. They can submit their information here. 

Chancellor Joe Gow expressed appreciation for the UWL students who are presently vaccinated but stressed there is more work to be done. 

“I’ve been so impressed by the perseverance and responsibility displayed by our students throughout this pandemic, and our student vaccination rate is yet another example,” Gow said. “Having our students vaccinated will allow us to keep our campus and community safe, and return to a normal college experience as quickly as possible. 

“While I’m proud of our student vaccination rate so far, we do not plan to stop at 70%,” he added. We have a responsibility to ensure that as many of our students as possible are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” 

A new round of incentives will help push UWL well beyond 70%. 

Upon reaching 75%, the university will hold drawings for seven $750 scholarships. Upon reaching 80% the university will hold drawings for eight $1,000 scholarships. Winners will also receive a limited-edition UWL hoodie. 

To be eligible for a prize at a particular threshold, students must have submitted their information prior to that goal being reached. 

To ensure vaccines are accessible as students return to campus, UWL is hosting a community-based vaccination clinic on the second floor of the Cartwright Center, 1741 State St. 

The clinic is open daily from Wednesday, Sept. 1, to Friday, Sept. 10, between noon and 4 p.m. All campus and community members are welcome. No appointment is needed.