Students and members of the local community in New Brunswick, New Jersey are not at all pleased with the Rutgers University’s vaccination mandate which requires students to take the vaccine if they want to return to campus.
On May 21, those participating in the event met close to the university where they waved American flags, held signs demanding freedom of choice for the vaccine, and even chanted a mock version of the pro-choice slogan, “My Body, My Choice.”
The rally was put together by several organizations such as Turning Point USA, Young Americans for Liberty, and NJ Stands Up, which is a medical freedom group.
Rutgers was actually the first university in the country to mandate the vaccine for students who want to come back an live on-campus. The mandate currently provides exemptions for students who have medical issues or religious reasons for not taking the vaccine.
Staff and faculty are not required to get vaccinated, though Rutgers Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio Calcado has strongly urged everyone to get vaccinated before returning to campus.
“We are committed to creating a safe campus environment in fall 2021, and to support the health and safety for all members of the Rutgers community, the university has updated existing immunization requirements for students to include the COVID-19 vaccine,” Rutgers spokeswoman Dory Devlin told The Epoch Times. “The university’s position on vaccines is consistent with the legal authority supporting this policy.”
Sara Razi, one of the rally organizers and the New Jersey state chair for YAL, told The Burlington County Times that the protesters are not against vaccination, just against mandating vaccination.
“We believe it should be a personal and private choice — not the government, not the state,” Razi went on to say. “No one should be making this decision for you — except yourself.”
— Sara Razi🦋 (@LibertyRazi) May 21, 2021
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has published an open letter that encourages universities and colleges not to use a vaccine mandate. The letter states that “young adults are a healthy and immunologically competent and vibrant group that is at ‘extraordinary low risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.’’”
Another reason the AAPS argues against a coronavirus vaccine mandate is due to college-aged women being at a “unique risk for adverse events,” students that already have the antibodies, and “institutional policies that permit faculty to choose or refuse vaccination, but do not allow students the same options, raise equal protection constitutional issues.”