(CNS News) -- Hundreds of students at both Virginia Tech University and the University of Colorado-Boulder plan to protest campus-wide vaccine mandates on Monday, June 28, according to Young Americans for Liberty (YAL).
“This arbitrary order is a blatant violation of the students’ rights to medical freedom,” Ian Escalante, YAL’s South Regional Director, said in a press release Monday about the vaccine mandates.
On April 28, the University of Colorado-Boulder announced its plans to require all students and faculty to receive the Covid-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall 2021. On June 8, Virginia Tech announced that, similarly, it would require proof of vaccination for enrollment.
The YAL has circulated a petition against the mandate at Virginia Tech, which they say has garnered almost 500 signatures since June 11. They will also be drafting a petition at the University of Colorado-Boulder that will eventually be delivered to the school’s administration.
The two protests are part of a larger effort by the pro-liberty organization to push back against vaccine mandates nationwide. Recently, they held a similar protest at Rutgers University.
“Vaccinations are a personal and a private choice and students should have the right to choose whether or not they want to take a vaccine that is experimental,” Sara Razi, the Rutgers protest organizer ,told CNBC.
On a frequently asked questions page, Virginia Tech lists the question “Does the university believe it has the authority to require that all students be vaccinated?” They answer, “Our decision is aligned with the Virginia Attorney General’s opinion that was issued last month indicating that universities in Virginia can mandate the vaccine for students as a condition of in-person learning.”
Both schools have provisions for health issues and religious exemptions.
Virginia Tech claims exemptions are available for “sincerely held religious beliefs,” however, the form must be notarized and the state health commissioner reserves the right to order your exclusion from the university due to any perceived emergencies.
The Covid-19 vaccines available in the United States are currently approved through an emergency use authorization. The trials and research were also expedited in order to quickly address the pandemic.