More Colleges Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, GOP Gov. Fires Back That Your Health Is Your Choice

Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee just recently announced a new policy of discrimination for their Fall 2021 semester that will require students to show ‘digital proof’ that they received a COVID-19 vaccine. If a student fails to comply with the process, they would be profiled as an “unvaccinated student” and be fined $1,500 per semester.

The new policy also states that the student will be subject to “mandatory testing” with weekly DNA swabs and could be forced into a ten-day quarantine period if they refuse. Vaccinated students will only be required to receive a test if they show symptoms of the virus.

The website describes the $1,500 fine as a “Health & Safety fee” to cover the laboratory and administrative cost of regular testing. Students will have to receive a negative COVID-19 test 14 days prior to starting the semester or submit vaccination documentation upon arrival.

While students can get medical or religious exemptions from the college, the site states that they “strongly recommend full vaccination for any individuals who come to campus.” They are currently waiving the fee for international students who “may not have access to vaccinations prior to returning” to campus. Students would have to submit a form to be reviewed and finalized by the Student Accessibility Services.

The site states that they will continue their “campus commitment” to campus-wide vaccinations, masking, and distance guidelines that guided their “success” in the Spring.  “A campus-wide commitment to vaccination will mean that we can move towards full capacity and reduced masking allowing for the intentional in-person campus life experience that we all love about Rhodes,” Rhodes College announced.

New York state’s public colleges and universities will also be requiring all in-person students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement at the beginning of May as a way to “boost vaccination rates” that have slowed down in recent weeks.

“Let’s make a global statement: You cannot go back to school in September unless you have a vaccine. That will be a major motivation for people to get a vaccine,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The schools currently require students born after Jan. 1, 1957, to prove immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. They must also certify vaccination for meningococcal meningitis or attest that they understand the risks against vaccinating for it. The COVID-19 vaccine mandate would remain pending approval until the U.S Food & Drug Administration grants full approval for COVID-19 vaccines.

Two of the nation’s largest university systems, the University of California and California State University, will also require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students this fall. CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro called it the “most comprehensive and consequential university plan” for COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Some GOP politicians like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey are fighting back against vaccine mandates and have issued executive orders stating that college students cannot be mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine or wear masks in order to participate in learning.

“The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it. But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way. Public education is a public right, and taxpayers are paying for it. We need to make our public universities available for students to return to learning. They have already missed out on too much learning. From K-12 to higher education, Arizona is supporting in-person learning,” Ducey said.

Even the Biden Administration has said that they would not issue federal mandates regarding the vaccine. The vaccine is a choice and health policies should be based on science, not virtue signaling. The radical left will hold onto as much COVID-19 power as they can. The mandates and passports are the last of it.