WSU Regents Discuss ‘Sincere’ Religious Beliefs Regarding Vaccine Exemptions | Local
PULLMAN – Regents at Washington State University heard an update this morning on the institution’s response to the governor’s mandate on vaccines for higher education workers.
The Regents’ Strategic and Operational Excellence Committee received a report from campus health officials. Governor Jay Inslee is demanding that most state employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus, be granted religious or medical exemptions, or be laid off. Her deadline to comply is October 18.
The religious exemption must be considered as a “sincere” religious belief in order not to be vaccinated. Regents President Marty Dickinson asked Hailey Rupp, WSU’s emergency operations project manager, what this means.
“It’s a subjective thing, it’s hard to determine,” Rupp said. “There are questions as to whether veganism counts as a religious belief.”
President Dickinson then apparently appeared to address the situation indirectly with WSU head football coach Nick Rolovich. Rolovich has announced that he will not be vaccinated but will comply with the governor’s mandate. “It is unfortunate that our brand is tainted right now by decisions that do not match where the university is trying to locate and the actions we have taken,” Dickinson said.