UMD students challenging the school’s vaccination requirement policy
A small group of UMD students are challenging the University of Minnesota’s vaccination requirement policy.
The policy is preventing students who did not fill out their vaccination form from resuming their higher education. Leading the small group of students to believe that this rule is unfair to those who are academically qualified.
Organizer and now former student Lucius LaFromboise says, "This has nothing to do with Vaccines, this has everything to do with the public university denying students access."
The requirement for students started in the fall semester with the deadline in October. Faculty says this gave students ample amount of time to fill out their forms.
The college system implemented the rule to keep students as safe as possible against COVID-19. Dr. Lisa Erwin, Vice Chancellor of Student Life and Dean of Students, says “The rational was all the health experts at the national, state, and federal level were urging folks to get vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And our system adopted that approach."
The vaccination form has also followed policies they’ve implemented in the past. Dr. Erwin says, “Measles, mumps, and rubella, those vaccines have always been required. So we mirrored that process. Which is students went and filled out that form and provided the dates that they got the vaccines."
Students could also be exempt from the vaccine by doctor’s not or religious exemption. However students like Lucius still view the policy as wrong.
He says, "I cannot sign that piece of paper because I believe that it is immoral for the university to be rejecting members of the public on that basis. Because of that, I am not allowed to attend school today on the first day of school in my last semester of getting my degree."
And while Lucius is one student who won’t fill out the form, a strong percentage of students have.
"And we know from our system wide data that 96% of our students did one of those three things and 95% of them were vaccinated and so the most frequent choice was vaccination”, says Dr. Erwin.