Chicken tenders return to campus after vaccine mandate deadline passes


TJ Lindstrom

Students are rewarded with the return of famous chicken tenders after 75% of the population became vaccinated.

Laken Kincaid, Campus Editor

On Aug. 27, John Carroll’s Administration announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the entire  University. The deadline for students and faculty to receive their first dose of the vaccine passed on  Nov. 15. Students were incentivized to meet this deadline with the promise of the return of the Inn Between chicken tenders, lovingly nicknamed “chicken tendies,” if JCU reached a 75% vaccination rate. 

In a Student Government Senate meeting on Nov. 30, Dean of Students Sherri Crahen told the body that 82% of the undergraduate population and about 95% of the faculty had been vaccinated. Crahen also said that infection rates have been low on campus. 

Crahen went on to say that around 300 students applied for and were granted a vaccine exemption while approximately 200 students have not reported their status at all; a number Crahen hopes will decrease as reminder emails are sent to the student body. 

On Nov. 11, JCU updated the vaccination statistics on their website stating that 78% of the undergraduate population was vaccinated. With this announcement, students became concerned that the promise of the tenders was forgotten. However, dining committee chair CJ Fovozzo ‘23 told The Carroll News during the Senate session that the tenders would return to the menu on Dec. 1 through Dec. 15 and would make a complete return to the menu in the spring semester. An announcement about the return was also posted on the John Carroll Dining Instagram page. 

“I love the chicken tenders,” Juliana Taylor ‘23 said. “They are so good. That was the best part of the Inn Between. I am so excited for them to come back.”

“I’m waiting for the hype to die down because I’m worried that The Tween will pump out large quantities of chicken and not care for the quality but rather the quantity to match demand,” Joel Larson ‘24, a student who has never had the tenders, told The Carroll News. “If I wait I can hopefully get the best chicken tender experience once the hype goes down.’

Students hoped that, with the mandate fully in place, the mask requirement would be lifted alongside the reinstatement of the tenders. However, Crahen noted in her address to the Senate that the mandate will stay in place due to high Cuyahoga County case numbers and the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant. Yet, Crahen assured the body that there were “no conversations” about the student body returning to a hybrid learning model and that a booster dose of the vaccine would not be required for the coming spring semester. 

“I understand that mask wearing is not all that fun,” Crahen said. “I want you to think about members of our community that, while they may be vaccinated, may not feel safe [without masks].”