SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Public Universities and community colleges across the state have started to mandate coronavirus vaccines for both staff and students.

Students and staff only have only two options: Tell the administration they’ve been vaccinated, or don’t show up.

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A letter was sent to more than four thousand Sacramento State Students this week who have not self-certified, which means a student must declare they’ve been vaccinated or qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Otherwise, they won’t be allowed on campus at all this fall.

“I don’t think this is something that should be required,” said George Avila, Sac State freshman.

Avila isn’t vaccinated and doesn’t plan to be, but he’s applied for a religious exemption, which would allow him on campus if he gets a bi-weekly COVID test.

“I’m not the biggest fan of this vaccine,” he said.

He doesn’t think it’s fair for students and staff who don’t have any other options. But others say the mandate is best for everyone.

“It keeps everyone safer,” said Corey, another student.

“I got my vaccine really early on, and I’m really okay with it,” said another student named Bella.

At Los Rios Community College, Ryan Nix—a Health Services Assistant—and Christopher Carreon—a campus patrol officer, shared emails from the Human Resources Department to all faculty.

The college vice-chancellor confirms every employee or student who doesn’t provide proof of vaccination status by October 1 could be suspended or terminated.

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“We’re constantly being asked about our vaccination status by our supervisors,” said Carreon.

“It should be about choice and health freedom,” said Nix.

The college is requiring photo proof of vaccination for both students and staff, which is something that legal experts say is legal for private companies and government agencies.

It’s becoming the “new normal” for universities, state buildings and businesses big and small across the state.

California’s public university systems—UC and CSU schools—already require students and staff to be vaccinated.

But these employees call it an abuse of power and are working with attorneys, planning to file a class-action lawsuit.

“I don’t want to lose my job as much as the next person,” said Nix.

In an exchange of emails, the district says the board of trustees implemented the requirement in the interest of public health.

The board president said it’s time for bold courageous action amid a public health crisis.

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Some students and staff are planning a protest at Los Rios on September 30.