'It is a bad situation for all': IU students react to SCOTUS decision

The Supreme Court decided not to hear the case involving a student petition to block Indiana University's vaccine mandate.

IU students worry that the mandate will lead to discrimination against unvaccinated students.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barret denied taking up the first-ever case challenging a vaccine mandate to reach the Supreme Court. 

The lawsuit was brought to court in June by eight students at Indiana University, claiming the University’s vaccine mandate for the Fall 2021 semester violated their constitutional right to “personal autonomy.”

[RELATED: Judge approves IU vaccine mandate, Purdue implements ‘choice model’]

The Supreme Court decision follows the previous decision of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the students’ request for a preliminary injunction while the petition awaits further litigation. 

The university’s vaccine policy requires all students, faculty, and staff to receive the vaccine before returning to campus this fall.

Shelby Fugate, a junior Finance major at Indiana University, told Campus Reform that the recent decision of the Supreme Court has a long-lasting impact that goes beyond just the fall semester.

“I think the rejection of our petition demonstrates the weakness of our judicial system,” Fugate said. “The fact that the Supreme Court decided not to rule on something as important as a public school mandating a non-FDA approved vaccine for their students, is sad to see.”

“It forces our generation to not count on our government or our politicians for the protection of our god given rights,” she continued. “People are realizing how ridiculous our country is being run and they are starting to depend on themselves for end results.”

Taylor Bryant, vice chairwoman of the Monroe County Republican Party and student at Indiana University, says she is also disappointed in the decision.

“It is disheartening that the Supreme Court refused to hear the petition,” Bryant said. “Especially as an unvaccinated student, you see the discrimination. There should have been a case there.”

Bryant also told Campus Reform that on the day she moved in, the university gave out color-coded cards indicating which students were vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

“It was very clear depending on the color of your card whether you were vaccinated or unvaccinated,” she said. “You had to walk past quite a few people while holding your card that said you are unvaccinated. It was definitely a form of discrimination.”

“It is a bad situation for all students, especially those who are conflicted on whether or not to get the vaccine. The university is pressuring you to get the vaccine so that you won’t be different from your peers,” she added.

Campus Reform contacted Indiana University for a comment; this article will be updated accordingly.