Faced with a vaccine mandate, some college students opted to drop out instead. They felt that getting a degree is not worth the price of getting a COVID-19 vaccine they do not support.
College Students Would Rather Drop Out
Examples of college students' foregoing classes are all around. For example, Justin Mishler, a 29-year-old junior at Northern Illinois University, chose to continue working. A GI Bill student since 2016, Mishler looked forward to returning to campus.
However, Northwestern University announced a vaccine mandate for all students. Mishler and everybody else will need to show proof of vaccination.
They can also request an exemption and get weekly testing. “I was excited but when I saw you had to be vaccinated, I decided to keep working instead. I’m not going to abide by stuff I don’t believe in,” he said.
Instead, Mishler went back to work as forklift operators at a nearby 3M facility. “I would like to be able to finish [my degree] and work in a military museum,” the history major said. “But if it never goes back to normal, I’m just going to do something else.”
College Students Say No to Vaccine Mandates
Another case is Dylan Dean, 22. Dean foresaw the announcing of vaccine mandates at his college, Montana State University.
He decided to pass on enrolling even before MSU announced its policy. “I was worried there would be mandates,” he said. Dean also said his parents gave him their support. “They don’t agree with me politically, but they know this is my decision,” he added. Dean is an active member of Young Americans for Liberty. This is a libertarian group present in 400 campuses nationwide.
Although the electrical engineering major will not graduate this spring, Dean has no regrets, “I think vaccine mandates fail to take into account natural immunity,” he said.
MSU does not require vaccinations for students. However, the school does encourage by holding weekly raffles that offer various prizes. Last month, MSU instituted a mask mandate after nearby Bozeman hospital exceeded its capacity.
In a letter, MSU President Waded Cruzado said that “These precautionary measures are necessary to protect each other and to keep in-person classes and events on the campus we love.”
Around 1,000 institutions require vaccines for college students and employees. In most cases, students who refuse to vaccinate will not get permission to register for classes.
Many students already took their cases to court. Dozens of lawsuits across the country are challenging vaccine mandates. However, no college has yet revoked its mandate.
In fact, a federal judge upheld the vaccine requirement at Indiana University. “This university policy isn’t forced vaccination,” the judge said. There are other options, including taking the semester off or going to another school without a mandate.
In addition, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut were also dismissed in federal court. More are pending.
According to Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the danger is real. COVID outbreaks on college campuses can blow into a lost semester.
It can also upset the entire higher education system. Last year, outbreak song undergraduates forced schools to switch to remote learning. Many students complained that virtual classrooms are a poor substitute for inside the classroom.
Watch the NJ Spotlight News reporting that more vaccine mandates upheld by NJ and federal courts:
Would you withdraw from school if it requires COVID vaccination? Or, will you comply in order to continue your studies?
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