Creighton University keeps its vaccine mandates amid an ongoing lawsuit
Students have been denied their requests for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the university from implementing its vaccine mandate.
Creighton required the COVID-19 vaccine for students but for not faculty or staff.
Students at Creighton University (CU), a Jesuit Catholic school in Nebraska, have been denied their requests for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented CU from implementing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The request for the injunction came in the middle of a lawsuit between the university and several of its students. Students involved in the lawsuit are suing for not being able to enroll in classes due to their unvaccinated status.
The Nebraska Supreme Court justices claimed they were not persuaded by the students’ oral arguments for an injunction, citing that the court did not have jurisdiction to make a decision regarding the matter as a “final order” needs to come from the lower courts.
“Students appeal from an order that denied only their request for temporary injunctive relief. For over 150 years, we have held that such orders are neither final nor appealable. Because the court’s denial of a temporary injunction was not a final order, we lack jurisdiction of the appeal and must dismiss it,” the court stated.
The state Supreme Court’s decision to not grant the injunction will allow the university to keep its mandate while the lawsuit continues.
Campus Reform reported on Creighton’s first vaccine mandate in 2021. Dental student Patrice Quadrel was forcibly unenrolled from her classes after refusing to get the vaccine for religious reasons.
Though Quadrel submitted a request for a religious exemption, CU denied it citing the school’s long history of not accepting religious exemptions for vaccines. Staff and faculty were required to be vaccinated in December of 2021, months after students had to comply by July 7.
Adding insult to injury, staff and faculty were allowed to submit religious exemptions while students were not.
According to Creighton spokesman Sam Achelpohl in an article for U.S. News, that policy changed and UC began allowing students to submit religious exemptions for the 2022-23 school year. Quadrel, however, would have graduated in May of 2022.
Quadrel spoke with Campus Reform, saying the lawsuit is "new territory for all of us."
"It is unfortunate that after months of deliberating, the Supreme Court decided they do not have jurisdiction for this lawsuit. This is new territory for us all, including the legal system," she explained.
Quadrel also told Campus Reform that students are now looking for "restitution" individually.
"At this point, we will be dismissing the Supreme Court case and seeking restitution for the last year from an individual standpoint. We still have plenty of fight left in us."
As the incoming semester approaches, Creighton still requires students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they obtain a medical or religious exemption. The Jesuit university also requires masks indoors around vulnerable patients, and for the unvaccinated.
Under the tab “COVID-19 Vaccination as Moral Responsibility,” the university’s website also claims, “being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”
Campus Reform contacted Creighton University and Quadrel for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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