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Students walk past Tiger Stadium Tuesday afternoon, August 24, 2021, hours after it was announced that everyone 12 years of age and older attending an LSU football game this season would have to present proof of vaccination against coronavirus or a negative PCR test taken within 72 prior to entry.

Over 1,000 students, or just about 4% of LSU's student body, risk getting kicked out for failing to follow pandemic protocol. 

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said students who didn't submit proof of vaccination, a negative test from the last five days or a positive test from the last 90 days by Friday would get unenrolled. 

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Ballard said he didn't yet have the exact number. But it was roughly 1,200 the evening before. 

He said students who have to be unenrolled will get a prorated tuition refund. 

The school sent students a text message earlier in the week to remind them that the deadline to submit the required paperwork was fast approaching. 

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"If you do not comply," the message read, "you will be unenrolled from the university."

The message gave students the following five options:

  • Show proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • Show proof of negative COVID-19 test from within the past five days
  • Show proof of positive COVID-19 test from within the past 90 days
  • Formally opt out and get tested on a regular basis
  • I do not plan to comply

Last month, Louisiana's flagship university became the first Southeastern Conference school to require those same rules for anyone over the age of 12 who wants to attend events at the Tiger Stadium, which will welcome more than 100,000 fans this weekend — marking the policy's first real-world test.

The school plans to have a dozen sites outside the 102,000-seat stadium to check vaccination or testing status before letting anyone into the arena to watch the game against McNeese State.

As of Friday, according to LSU's COVID dashboard, the school said about 70 percent of its 30,000-plus students had voluntarily reported that they had been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Also as of Friday, the same dashboard reported that 58 students and employees with active COVID infections. 


Email Caroline Savoie at CSavoie@TheAdvocate.com or follow her on Twitter at @CarolineSavo.