COD Board of Trustees to vote on updating COVID-19 policy


Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

College of Dupage’s board of trustees have yet to vote on whether the school will be adopting a vaccine mandate meaning COD will not be in immediate compliance with the latest gubernatorial executive order. On Aug. 31, the board called a special meeting to discuss the protocol for how to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order 87. Vice President Jim Bente, chief COVID-19 officer for COD, proposed the framework of a potential plan to the board that met the requirements of the executive order, then opened the floor to discussion. 

The executive order was issued on Aug. 26 and detailed the procedure for businesses and organizations, including colleges, on bringing staff and students back to campus. As per Pritzker’s order, staff and students must either provide proof of vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing to remain on campus for classes or activities. Additionally, the order required students and faculty have at least the first shot of a two-shot vaccine, or a single-dose vaccine, within 10 days of the executive order’s release. 

In response to the order, Bente proposed a plan to the board that satisfied the executive order’s requirements. The plan includes a system to collect and store data from vaccinated students and staff, as well as a system to administer weekly testing for those who are not vaccinated. When pressed about the time frame of the executive order, COD President Brian Caputo said COD officials are working with the Illinois Community College Board to work around the 10-day deadline, which was Sept. 5. 

“If we’re exercising a good-faith effort to implement as expeditiously as reasonably possible, that would satisfy [the college board], and they will advocate for us,” Caputo said.

When presenting to the board, Bente brought up the climbing number of COVID-19 cases among the age range of 20- to 39-year-olds. 

“This is important to us, from my perspective, because this age demographic represents the vast number of COD students,” Bente said. He also noted the growing number of cases under the age of 20, stating that the idea of herd immunity from vaccinating a majority of DuPage County residents never took children into account, and how the rise in hospitalizations of children with COVID-19 reflects that. 

Data collected from Illinois Dept. of Public Heath and represents cases from April 11, 2020 – Septmeber 2, 2021 See more at

The entire meeting was spent discussing the latest executive order, the proposed plan, and how it would affect the college community. Trustees stood both for and against the order, most noticeably trustee Daniel Markwell headed the argument supporting the order and trustee Annette K. Corrigan spoke in opposition. Regardless of stance, the board unanimously agreed to postpone the vote until a later time.

When asked how much he could elaborate on the specifics in a personal interview, Bente was unable to provide any further details regarding the timing or longevity of any plans to follow the executive order. 

“If the board had said, ‘Yeah, this is administrative, go ahead and do this,’ I could have given a lot more details. But we’re in a holding pattern.” Regardless of how the board votes, Bente wanted to make one matter clear, “Our main interest is the safety of our staff, faculty and students.”  

The board has postponed the vote until their next meeting in September, unless a special meeting is called before then. For more details about the board’s proposed plans, you can go to