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A conservative youth organization announced Wednesday it is fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates on 23 college campuses to push back against what it described as “government interference in private medical decisions.”
Young Americans for Liberty has been working with student leaders nationwide to promote individual choice regarding health decisions as increasingly more schools demand proof of vaccination for attendance, according to a statement from the organization.
YAL stressed it “is not anti-vaccine, but rather anti-vaccine mandate at taxpayer-funded academic institutions.”
YAL highlighted its work on the campuses of Rutgers University, Virginia Tech University and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Activists from the group circulated a petition at Virginia Tech asserting that vaccines are “a personal and private decision that should be made between a student, their family, and their doctors; not one required by [University President Tim Sands] and his staff.” Within weeks, hundreds of students reportedly signed it, and YAL delivered its concerns to the school’s administration.
YAL is drafting a similar petition that will circulate at the UC Boulder.
“Many of the colleges are being just completely unreasonable, even downright stupid with a lot of these requirements,” YAL senior spokesman Eric Brakey told Fox News. He singled out the work of Sara Razi, one of YAL’s New Jersey state chairs who is a junior at Rutgers, which was the first university to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their students.
Razi organized a protest against the school’s vaccine mandate last May, which Brakey said attracted more than 600 people. “Campus security even tried to shut it down, but thankfully our activists know their First Amendment rights and they didn’t back down,” he said.
Brakey said YAL students ultimately hope to get the vaccine mandates rescinded.
“Individuals should be free to make their own healthcare decisions with their doctors,” he said. “Instead, taxpayer-funded college administrators are imposing one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates on every student, regardless of disability or natural immunity status. That is why I am proud of YAL activists—on 23 college campuses across the country—fighting against these mandates for healthcare freedom. Their activism has never been more important for preserving liberty.”
Brakey said many administrators have so far been trying to shut down any protests against vaccine mandates. “They’ve been trying to stop students from speaking out, stop students from … being able to express their views and their pushback and their rights to medical autonomy,” he said.
“I think as more students on campuses across the country see the activism of others, you’re starting to see more and more pushback across the country,” he added.
Earlier this week, 22-year-old Rutgers student Logan Hollar made headlines after he said he was locked out of his school email and related accounts because he is unvaccinated, despite taking virtual classes at home more than 70 miles away from campus.
“I’m not in an at-risk age group. I’m healthy and I work out. I don’t find COVID to be scary,” Hollar told NJ.com. “If someone wants to be vaccinated, that’s fine with me, but I don’t think they should be pushed.”
Hollar has already missed out on the start of the semester and was informed the turnaround on obtaining a waiver could take weeks. He told the outlet he expects he will have to transfer to a different university.
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