Gov. Whitmer signs bill guaranteeing vaccine exemptions for college students

The state of Michigan’s budget includes protections for college students seeking religious and medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine.

As Campus Reform has reported, many universities are rejecting their students’ requests for exemptions.

The state of Michigan’s most recent budget includes robust protections for college students seeking exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine.

House Bill 4400 — signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) on September 29 — requires that all universities receiving a state appropriation must ensure that students can receive religious and medical exemptions from the vaccine, provided that they obtain a letter from a physician or draft a statement articulating their religious beliefs.

“It must be presumed that a student who requests an exemption... is entitled to that exemption,” the bill reads. “The public university shall grant that student’s request unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that the student is not entitled to that exemption.”

[RELATED: Student booted as newspaper’s editor-in-chief over mask mandate editorial]

Furthermore, public universities are not permitted to deny exemptions “until it has exhausted every reasonable accommodation.” 

When a university does deny an exemption, it must write a report about the steps it took to accommodate the request, as well as how the student responded to the accommodations. 

Additionally, every university must submit a report by March 15 to the legislature stating the number of students who requested exemptions, as well as the number of students who were given exemptions.

Among the schools that received funding were Central Michigan University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. Similar language in the bill extends to community college students.

As Campus Reform has repeatedly reported, universities across the nation have forced their vaccines upon students — including those with religious and medical objections to the inoculation.

[RELATED: REPORT: Boston College rejects vaccine exemptions for Catholics]

Boston College, a Roman Catholic school, has refused exemptions to students concerned about the use of aborted fetal tissue during the vaccine research stage. As a spokesman for the school explained: “Given that Pope Francis, Cardinal Sean (O’Malley), and millions of Catholics worldwide have been vaccinated, it is difficult for Catholics to make an argument against a COVID-19 vaccination.”

Campus Reform reached out to Whitmer’s office for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.