Residents offered $100 in RamBucks for COVID vaccine proof

Students use their RamBucks at Gina’s Café in the Martin Center.

On August 26, Carson Dinger sent Texas Wesleyan student residents the first email regarding the COVID vaccination incentive opportunity. 

“Any student living on-campus who has received the COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to receive $100 in RamBucks. Issuance of this incentive will begin September 7,” Dinger wrote. 

It is now the end of September and students who already got vaccinated are either receiving their RamBucks or are in the process of getting the vaccine to receive the incentive.  

Dinger wrote that in the time Residence Life has been offering the incentive, 163 students have participated which is about 32% of our residential population. 

The program was initiated to encourage students on-campus to receive the vaccine and protect themselves and others. It also helps the university know who has been vaccinated which makes it easier to do contact tracing. 

Dinger also noted that the first portion of the initiative would help keep the campus safe with the rise in residence halls being a place where students often attend events, gather in the hallways or lobbies, or cook meals together. “It’s important that we are helping the students keep our communities safe,” Dinger wrote. 

Jelissa Spells, a freshman Stella Hall resident, said she did not recall seeing the email from Dinger about the incentive to vaccinate, but said she would participate in the program. 

“I think [what is enticing about the program] is the opportunity for people, especially for people who need a little push, a little money, it’s a good thing they’re doing it,” Spells said. 

Bebhinn Tankard, a junior OC Hall resident from the United Kingdom, said she received the AstraZeneca vaccine before coming to the states because she had no underlying physical health issues and waiting for the Pfizer vaccine would have delayed her from coming to Texas. 

“I think probably people who are on the cusp or are not sure whether they want it or not, or like kind of just can’t be bothered? Yeah, I think [the incentive] is like an encouragement to those sorts of people. To be honest, most of the people I know are already vaccinated,” Tankard said. 

Tankard said she had not looked into whether she would be safe to try to get the FDA accepted Pfizer vaccine when she already has AstraZeneca in her system and her mother discouraged her from trying to find out. 

At this time, there is no deadline for the program in order to encourage students to continue to get vaccinated.