A Rutgers University student has been barred from taking online classes from the college because he is unvaccinated, even though his courses are completely remote.
“After submitting the survey, I got no pop-up indication that I still needed the vaccine — like I had seen in the past — and since I was online and the survey said I was all set, I assumed the emails in my inbox pertaining to (the vaccine) must apply to in-person students,” 22-year-old Logan Hollar told NJ.com.
“This turned out not to be the case,” he said.
Hollar was scheduled to attend classes starting Sept. 1. He has now been locked out of his university account and has been told that if he applies for an exemption from the vaccine mandate and his exemption is approved, it could take two to four weeks before he’d be reinstated, according to the report.
Hollar said he will likely be forced to transfer to a different school to continue his education.
“I believe in science, I believe in vaccines, but I am highly confident that COVID-19 and variants do not travel through computer monitors by taking online classes,” Keith Williams, Hollar’s stepfather, told NJ.com.
“He chose to remove himself from an on-campus experience so he would not need to be vaccinated,” Williams added.
University spokeswoman Dory Devlin said Rutgers has “provided comprehensive information and direction to students to meet vaccine requirements through several communications channels,” according to the New York Post.
She added there was a distinction between a “fully online degree-granting program” and “classes that are fully remote” but are considered on-campus students.
Should colleges take action against students who are unvaccinated?
Cases involving the required vaccination of university students have already reached significant levels. In August, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett declined to grant an emergency injunction to eight college students who sued to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate.
The mandate required the school’s 90,000 students and 40,000 employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Barrett has jurisdiction over the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the lawsuit originated.
In their Aug. 6 filing, the eight students said Indiana University’s vaccination policy violates their “constitutional rights to bodily integrity and autonomy.”
In their filing urging Barrett to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate, the students said their refusal to get vaccinated was based on legitimate concerns, “including underlying medical conditions, having natural antibodies, and the risks associated with the vaccine.”
The students argued that they’re adults who are entitled to make their own medical treatment decisions and they have a constitutional right to bodily autonomy.
“IU, however, is treating its students as children who cannot be trusted to make mature decisions and has substituted itself for both the student and her attending physician, mandating a choice which is the student’s to make,” they said in their court filing.
The plaintiffs also said it made no scientific sense to force college students to submit to a vaccine when “the risk of serious morbidity and mortality from COVID for those under 30 is close to zero.”