Rutgers University has recently imposed a vaccination mandate for all students who wish to return to the school for in-person learning during future semesters.

This makes Rutgers the first university in the country to implement such a policy.

Curiously, though, staff and faculty at the university have been exempted from the mandate.

In response, a group of Rutgers students, along with some community members living in New Brunswick, New Jersey, have organized a rally meant to protest this policy.

Students Rally Against Forced Vaccination

The protest took place May 21 near the Rutgers University campus. Local chapters of the conservative activist group Turning Point USA, in collaboration with the libertarian/conservative student organization Young Americans for Liberty and the local medical freedom advocacy group NJ Stands Up, helped to organize the protest.

As Sara Razi, one of the protest’s principal organizers and the New Jersey state chair of Young Americans for Liberty made clear, however, the protestors are not opposed to vaccination per se. They are only opposed to mandated or forced vaccination.

“We believe it should be a personal and private choice — not the government, not the state. No one should be making this decision for you — except yourself,” she said.

Concerns over vaccination mandates are growing especially serious as organizations in states like New York have already begun floating the idea of not allowing people to attend live concerts or sporting events if they cannot prove that they have been vaccinated.

Critics of this “vaccine passport” policy say that it essentially creates a group of second-class citizens in America whose rights to travel, work and bodily autonomy would be systematically violated as a matter of direct government policy.

Furthermore, there have been quite a few distressing, and even fatal, cases of adverse events linked to the administration of the vaccine. Not only have thousands who have been fully vaccinated gone on to catch the virus anyway, but many have died of mysterious blood clots that occurred mere days after their vaccination.

Given that college-age people are at virtually no risk of severe consequences from COVID-19, critics of the vaccination mandates say that young people would probably be better off just contracting the virus and developing natural immunity to it.

Indeed, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons recently published an open letter in which they expressed opposition to vaccination mandates at universities, saying that “young adults are a healthy and immunologically competent and vibrant group that is at ‘extraordinarily low risk’ for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.”

Not only this, but the letter goes on to point out that college-age women appear to be a “unique risk for adverse events” from the vaccine. Not only this, but natural immunity, for those who have developed it, confers protection from the virus that is as good or better than that offered by the vaccine.

Other universities, including Notre Dame and Cornell, have announced that they will be implementing mandatory vaccination policies for students who wish to return to campus.