Today's Update: Tuesday, February 16

February 16, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, Carrots are often better than sticks.  

Sometimes it takes a bit of incentive to encourage people to do the right thing. Weekly student COVID-19 testing is one of those things. 

One of the most important tools in fighting the spread of COVID-19 on a college campus is an effective testing strategy and, as you know, Ohio State has one of the most comprehensive in the country. This semester we expanded our weekly testing requirement to include all students on the Columbus campus (although unfortunately the weather got in the way today!), and we have also expanded our incentive strategy in order to drive testing compliance.  

Students who schedule and complete their weekly, required COVID-19 test will be eligible to be randomly selected for a variety of incentives, including gift cards to local retailers like the North Market or Mid High Market and national retailers like Grubhub and Amazon, special tours and opportunities on campus, tech products and more.  

Incentives are also available on the regional campuses, although testing requirements differ. 

One example of a special incentive is that, thanks to a partnership with the University Registrar, a select number of students who tested the first two weeks of the semester will be offered priority scheduling for autumn semester 2021.  

Incentives will change each week, and those who test consistently will be entered to win larger prizes. Students who test all semester without missing a week will be eligible to win one of 20 Macbooks.  

You can read more about it on the university’s Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.  

There is certainly an element of “stick” in this effort. Students who fail to comply with testing requirements will be unable to get a “green” health report pass and will be denied access to recreational facilities, including classroom spaces found in those buildings. 

We feel that the combination of approaches, with an emphasis on positive encouragement, will have a Scarlet and Great impact on keeping our community safe and healthy.