A New College Requirement

Vaccine mandate

The college experience is one of the more pivotal moments in a young adult’s life. Among the various components needed to apply, including resumes, grades, and letters of recommendation, a new requirement has shocked the higher education world. This recently introduced college mandate, however, does not only affect first-time, incoming students. Most existing and new students who plan to return to one of the University of Connecticut (UConn) campuses this fall must be fully vaccinated. In response to this newly implemented rule, a group of students and parents are threatening legal action.

If UConn does not drop the policy requiring students to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, this group has promised to initiate a lawsuit after July 2, 2021. The Family Freedom Endeavour, a non-profit organization that is committed to defending and protecting the civil rights of families, supports the group of students and parents. The organization feels strongly about the position the new policy inflicts upon students. Three issues are in question, concerning the basic legality of mandating such an invasive requirement, the fact that younger individuals are experiencing less severe complications from the virus, and the possibility of vaccination side effects that include heart inflammation.

Despite the arguments presented by the group of students and parents and The Family Freedom Endeavour, the general attitude on UConn’s campuses showed support for the policy. Following a student-focused poll that was administered by UConn, the results revealed that most students were in favor of the policy and understood the importance of getting vaccinated. Others still, however, feel that the decision to become vaccinated should be left to the discretion of the individual student. Many have argued the point that the CDC recommends that all students receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine before living on college campuses, so this COVID-19 mandate should not breach unfamiliar territory. Due to the relatively fresh introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the limited knowledge and uncertainties of long-term effects, it is difficult to convince every student that the vaccine requirement should be necessary.