Students react to colleges' booster mandates

Campus Reform spoke to students who attend schools that are mandating booster COVID shots for the spring semester.

Campus Reform is tracking the universities' COVID protocols as they develop.

Dozens of colleges will require their students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster or third dose, including Emerson CollegeBentley CollegePrinceton UniversityUniversity of Notre Dame, and all University of California institutions. 

Bentley College’s leadership cited the new CDC guidance, which recommends boosters for everyone age 18 and over. “A fully vaccinated and boosted community will ensure our ability to continue offering a fully in-person experience for students, faculty and staff in the new year,” Bentley authorities said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, the future of vaccine mandates remains uncertain. On December 7, a federal court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the Biden administration from implementing its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees of government contractors. 

The injunction came as a result of a lawsuit filed by multiple contractors and seven states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia, against the federal government. It is applicable across the United States since one of those who are contesting the order is the trade association Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., whose members do business throughout the country.

Hank Miller, a Junior at Notre Dame, told Campus Reform, “In doing so, it takes away both our liberty to make an enormous medical decision for ourselves and our freedom to keep that decision personal.” 

“The University is making efforts to eradicate the risk of catching COVID, at the price of medical and religious freedom,” Miller continued. 

Molly Newman, a student at Emerson College, told Campus Reform, “I believe that we have the right to choose what we put into our bodies and that we should not be forced to take an experimental vaccine in order to keep our employment or further our education.”

“Vaccination is not the only way to ensure that a community is safe and disease-free,” she added. 

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On Jan. 7, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in cases that challenge the administration’s vaccine mandate. 

Though Biden’s mandate applies to employers and employees, not to college students, college vaccine mandates have come under legal scrutiny, too. 

A group of Indiana University students sued their school, seeking an injunction to delay its vaccine mandate. Their request for injunction was denied, and when they appealed to the Supreme Court, the Court refused to hear arguments for the injunction. The case has not yet been decided. 

Campus Reform reached out to Bentley College, Syracuse University, Notre Dame University, Emerson College and Boston College for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.