Oklahoma State University is hoping students will get vaccinated ahead of the fall semester by enticing them with gifts.
The Stillwater campus is launching a new campaign called "Poke-a-thon." Students will be entered to win weekly prizes over the course of eight weeks beginning August 18. To qualify, the university will use each student's proof of vaccination, which will be uploaded to their University Health Services Portal. Winners will be drawn from there.
Prizes include iPads, free parking, and football suite tickets. Only students at OSU's main campus can apply; OSU-Tulsa students are not eligible.
The fall semester is slated to begin Monday, August 16. OSU-Stillwater is encouraging masks and vaccinations but not requiring them. That's because a new state law, which passed earlier this year, prevents schools and universities from requiring face masks.
Still, the university hopes students will choose to get the shot. "The more we get vaccinated the better off we all are and can go back to what we love and what we want to do. We can have our full stadiums and everything that we love," said OSU President Dr. Kayse Shrum.
The University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma are also encouraging face masks and not requiring them. However, students taking public transit on OU's Norman campus will need to wear a mask while on board, or if they utilize the university's health care facilities.