State senator torches university over ‘anti-science, oppressive’ COVID-19 vaccine mandate

New Jersey State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon criticized Rutgers University’s decision to maintain its COVID vaccine mandate.

O’Scanlon called for the resignation of the school’s president and administrators responsible for the ‘anti-science, oppressive’ policy.

A state senator blasted Rutgers University for continuing to require students and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the topic to the center of debate once again. 

“We are all very likely being exposed to COVID on a regular basis, in some form, just by virtue of interacting with people,” State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon of New Jersey said. “Rutgers students who don’t want to get the vaccine for whatever reason should be allowed to not get the vaccine and still attend college– that should absolutely be no business of irrational Rutgers administrators.”

Rutgers instituted the vaccine mandate for students in fall 2021, making it the first school in the nation to do so.

Students unwilling to comply with the mandate “are encouraged to pursue those opportunities if these align with their interests,” Rutgers’ student rules state.

Rutgers also instituted the vaccine mandate for all employees in the fall of 2021 to comply with President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14042, which requires vaccination against COVID-19 for certain employees of federal contractors, like Rutgers.

“Failure to provide proof of full vaccination and booster (if required) or receive a university-approved exemption, will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination,” Rutgers’ employee rules state.

[RELATED: WATCH: COVID masking returns]

“Good job Rutgers for putting another stake in the heart of the credibility of institutions of higher education and the greater health policy community,” O’Scanlon said. “Maybe the good news is that there’s so little credibility left the net result isn’t impacted that much by this ludicrous mandate.”

The school explained its position on the mandate shortly after O’Scanlon’s remarks. 

“If their choice is that they cannot be here under these conditions, we understand that. We wanted to give them that … opportunity, though, to make that choice and not be rushed into that choice,” Antonio Calcado, Rutgers’ chief operating officer, said in an interview with NewsNation.

O’Scanlon responded to this explanation with even sharper criticism, calling for the resignation of the university’s president and administrators responsible for the policy.

“Not only has the policy not been rescinded, but high-level, uninformed bureaucratic administrators are actually doubling down and reasserting their mandates,” O’Scanlon, according to Insider NJ.

“The madness needs to stop, and these administrators need to step down…or simply admit that the policy is foolish, rescind it, and let all of their students partake in a world-class education,” he added.

[RELATED: 2022 in Review: 5 COVID lawsuits filed against universities]

Several users on X, formerly known as Twitter, seem to agree with O’Scanlon’s assessment, with many comparing the school’s situation to Bud Light’s recent fall from grace.

“Rutgers deserves to lose millions & fail miserably for Communist force & Communist thinking,” one user wrote. “Everyone needs to BudLight woke universities.”

“I think Rutgers needs the ‘Bud Light’ treatment,” another commented.

“This is kind of like a Bud Light moment for Rutgers University,” another user wrote.

Campus Reform Correspondent Jeremy Li, a Rutgers student, appeared on “Fox and Friends First” to discuss the school’s mandate

“It’s just devastating to see that we still have schools across all three or our campuses having this vaccine mandate in place,” Li said. “We all just want to live our lives at the end of the day.”

Campus Reform contacted Rutgers University and O’Scanlon for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow Austin Browne on X and Instagram.