Comedian Charlie Berens joins President Thompson for Vax Up! “70 for 70” campaign

Published: September 16, 2021

MADISON, Wis.—Comedian Charlie Berens has joined the University of Wisconsin System’s Vax Up! “70 for 70” campaign to encourage students to become vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Berens famously squared off against UW System President Tommy Thompson during the 2020-21 academic year to smash stuff on video as part of the System’s “Smash COVID” campaign. A new video circulating on social media shows Berens hitting a carnival-style high-striker to urge vaccinations among students.

“Hey, everyone. Just do the vaccine thing, ok? Why not, you know?” Berens says in the video.

The UW System has begun circulating the video on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social platforms. The UW System is also announcing today that two additional universities
have attained a 70 percent vaccination rate among students, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Milwaukee.

“I’m pleased to see our students do their part to protect themselves and their campus communities,”
Thompson said. “UW students are embracing the culture of responsibility we need to deliver the full
college experience.”

UW-La Crosse announced earlier this month it has also reached the 70 percent threshold, while UWMadison,
running its own campaign, has a student vaccination rate over 90 percent.

Under the “70 for 70” campaign, students who are vaccinated who attend universities that reach the 70 percent threshold, based on fall 2020 full-time-equivalent enrollment and excluding students
studying only online, are eligible to win one of 70 scholarships valued at $7,000. The campaign runs through Oct. 15.

The UW System will announce vaccination rates for all universities soon. Once published, the figures will be updated weekly.

Since the start of the campaign, Thompson has already promoted the campaign at five UW universities. See media coverage of those events here:

UW-Stevens Point

UW-La Crosse

UW Oshkosh


UW-Eau Claire

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Mark Pitsch, UW System

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