Reverse Stockton University's Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

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An open letter to Stockton University, the Stockton Community, and President Kesselman,

This evening on May 5, 2021, I was informed by a concerned student peer about Stockton University’s decision to enforce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the Fall 2021 semester. This was immediately followed by several more texts from other concerned students and Stockton community members. The purpose of this letter isn’t to be anti-vaccine, rather it is to question the university’s choice to forcibly mandate the vaccine in order to continue student enrollment at Stockton University.

In what has already been a confusing and unprecedented time for the student body and Stockton community, taking this drastic step to force an experimental vaccine on the student body only adds to the fear and discomfort the student body is facing. It is common knowledge that all COVID-19 vaccines are experimental, not a single vaccine is FDA approved and the vaccines are only “authorized” by the CDC and FDA for emergency use. The unfortunate reality is there are potential serious side effects that can be attributed from taking this vaccine, as the several deaths from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can attest to.

The university comparing this new COVID-19 vaccine mandate to their previous mandates of the FDA approved Measles and Mumps vaccines is insensitive at best, however, the university forcing the student body to get the vaccine when only, “highly recommending” it to faculty and staff is incredulous. Treating one function of the university differently from another when justifying your decision with the CDC and American College Health Association’s (ACHA), findings, which both encourage vaccination on all functions of the university is completely inept.

The university is deliberately illustrating the action of taking the COVID-19 vaccine to be a glorious act of societal righteousness, even going as far to post an image with the university’s mascot wearing a shirt saying, “Be an Inspiration, Get Vaccinated.” on their Social media pages with the vaccine mandate message. The truth is that this is a serious decision that a student should come to their own conclusion on with their family and doctor. The right to a quality education should not play a role in deciding upon whether a person should receive an emergency vaccination.

I plead with the University and President Kesselman to leave the choice of COVID-19 vaccinations with the individual students and not jeopardize a person’s education over their right to choose not to receive an experimental vaccine.

If you believe Stockton University should reverse the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its student body, please sign this petition.

Thank you,

Nicholas R. Carlson

Stockton University Senior