Ball State’s executive leadership team started a new vaccination incentive program to further encourage students and faculty to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before the start of the fall semester.
After a difficult school year shaped by social distancing and nontraditional methods of classroom instruction, Kathy Wolf, vice president for marketing and communications, said Ball State leaders were happy to roll out this new program.
“Anything that raises awareness and might give people a reason to get vaccinated is a good idea. While our program does not require vaccinations, it positively encourages everyone in our campus community to get vaccinated,” Wolf said via email.
Students and faculty can submit their vaccination completion forms online and once completed, individuals will have their names entered into a prize drawing for various incentives. Students, faculty and employees have different drawings and cannot choose the prizes they win.
Those who were fully vaccinated prior to the incentive program’s beginning are still eligible to enter the drawing to have a chance of winning one of the vouchers.
One-time drawing incentives for fully vaccinated students
Students who certify they are fully vaccinated by completing the form in the fall student return portal are automatically eligible for vaccine incentive drawings that will take place each Wednesday at noon. The program started July 14 and will end Sept. 8.
In addition to the weekly prizes, one-time incentive drawings will take place on certain dates.
On July 28, four one-time incentives will be drawn for:
- One winner: Two tickets to join Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns in the president’s suite for a Ball State home football game. Students will be given a limited number of eligible home games to select from.
- One winner: Two VIP seats for a Ball State Athletics sport of choice for the entire season
- One winner: Two Functional Fitness class vouchers for the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center
- One winner: Two Rec Fit class vouchers for the Recreation Center
On Aug. 18, three one-time incentive drawings will occur:
- One winner: Two tickets for Student Concert of choice and two concert T-shirts. The Student Concert list will be finalized by Emens Auditorium before this drawing.
- One winner: Two tickets to The Price Is Right at Emens Auditorium Sept. 26
- One winner: Two tickets to Crowder at Emens Auditorium Nov. 11
Note: Auditorium seats for the Aug. 18 drawings will be pre-selected by Emens staff.
On Sept. 8, eight one-time incentives will be drawn for:
- Five winners: $500 Technology Store voucher
- One winner: name a tree on campus with a plaque to honor someone. Additional details regarding this process will be made available by facilities planning and management staff closer to the drawing.
- One winner: residence hall double room with air conditioning and a semi-private bathroom. Only on-campus students with a 2021-22 residence hall contract are eligible for this prize. The winning student will receive an eBill credit each semester equivalent to the cost of the amenities, which will be calculated and shared with the winner on the day of the drawing.
- One winner: 21-meals-per-week dining plan or any 10 meals per week and $100 dining plus for the school year. The dining plan prize can be redeemed for on- or off-campus meal plans. Once the winning student chooses to upgrade their meal plan, they will receive an eBill credit equivalent to the cost of the selected meal plan.
If winning students do not redeem their incentives, university staff will determine if a redraw is warranted. Winners cannot gift or sell their prizes.
Voucher incentives will last through June 30, 2022, but must be claimed in a timely manner. To watch incentive drawings live Wednesdays at noon, visit bsu.edu/live. Winners will be notified via their BSU emails.
Source: Ball State COVID-19 web page and Kathy Wolf, vice president for marketing and communications
The faculty incentive drawings began June 23 and will last through Aug. 4. Four eligible employees per week will be randomly selected to receive one prize each of either a $100 bookstore voucher, one $100 Technology Store voucher, one $100 general parking permit or $100 in dining cash.
Each Wednesday from July 14 through Sept. 8, eight eligible vaccinated students will randomly be selected to receive a $100 bookstore voucher, $100 Technology Store voucher, a commuter, residence hall or stadium parking permit, or $100 in dining cash. Each of these prizes will have two winners each.
Wolf said student winners will receive their vouchers to their home or campus address, whichever they prefer. Students can also pick up their vouchers on campus when the fall semester begins.
Wolf said the university encourages students and employees to receive their last vaccination shot by Aug. 1 to be fully vaccinated by the time classes begin.
A faculty winner from the July 7 vaccination incentive drawing was Jim Shimkus, an information service librarian at Bracken Library. Shimkus won a $100 Ball State Bookstore voucher.
“I appreciate Ball State making an effort to reward a healthy lifestyle,” Shimkus said via email. “The vaccine incentives are a nice gesture on the part of the university.”
Shimkus said he was vaccinated in April 2021, prior to the introduction of the vaccination incentive program. He said people who choose not to get vaccinated have other reasons beyond accessing incentives, but he thought the health benefits of the vaccine were worth it.
“Getting vaccinated was a good decision for me with or without incentives,” Shimkus said.
Brandon Carson, senior journalism major, has been fully vaccinated for the upcoming fall semester.
“I think everyone should be vaccinated because it’s safe and free,” Carson said.
Carson said he thinks one of the incentives on the list should be a tuition voucher that would help students pay for school fees and any additional tuition that wasn't covered by financial aid.
“The incentive program is a good idea, but there should be more options to reduce the debt students have,” he said.
Carson said he doesn't think the incentives are enough to affect those who haven't been vaccinated.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about the vaccine and people don’t trust it,” he said.
Emily Boudrout, senior speech language pathology major, said she thinks she will participate in the incentive program.
“[Vaccines] are the only way we can return to ‘normal’ life post-pandemic,” Boudrot said.
Boudrot said learning students could win a parking pass or $100 to spend at the dining halls could convince people to get the vaccine, but she doesn't believe people know a lot about the vaccination incentive program.
“I saw that there was a chance to win a $100 voucher to the [Ball State] Bookstore but I think it could also be beneficial to possibly add a T.I.S. or Chegg gift card to help with the cost of textbooks,” Boudrot said.
The final incentive drawing for employees is Aug. 4, while the final drawing for students is Sept. 8. Vouchers will be honored through June 30, 2022.
Contact Iris Tello with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @idtello98.