Published on Mises.org 6/1/2021
While the recent clamp-down on power from public universities has mainly been in the realm of speech and expression, like almost every other government institution, they have used covid-19 as an opportunity to control students further. Much to my dismay, this week I learned that my alma mater, Indiana University, has instituted a “COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement,” their website stating:
With the ultimate goal of returning our campuses to normal operations, beginning with the fall 2021 semester, all Indiana University (including IUPUI) students, faculty and staff will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated before returning to campus.
I was shocked that this was mandatory, as opposed to a mere recommendation, but slightly further down the page, it is abundantly clear—comply or leave:
If you choose not to meet the requirement IU has outlined strong consequences for those who choose not to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and do not receive an exemption. Everyone is strongly encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as possible not only for your own health and safety but for those around you as well. For students, they will see their class registration cancelled, CrimsonCard access terminated, access to IU systems (Canvas, email, etc.) terminated, and will not be allowed to participate in any on campus activity. Faculty and staff who choose not to meet the requirement will no longer be able to be employed by Indiana University. Working remotely and not meeting the COVID-19 vaccine requirement is not an option.
While forced vaccination is completely totalitarian, the argument could be made that new students were made aware of the university’s vaccine requirements and could make a voluntary decision to attend or not, given the information. What really strikes me is the nerve the university has forcing the vaccine on students already attending.
Suppose a student has spent three years of his life working toward his degree. Entering his final year, he doesn’t wish to receive the vaccine. Then what? His choice is to get a vaccine he doesn’t want so that he can finish his degree, or leave. This violates fundamental concepts of contract law. When the student undertook the education at the university three years ago, he was not aware that a new vaccine would be imposed on him in the final year of his education. With this knowledge, he might have chosen to attend a different university, or none at all. Of course, he may have gone to the university anyway, but he would have had this knowledge beforehand, and voluntarily agreed to those terms. Enforcing a new requirement unilaterally upon these students is an audacious power grasp, even for these institutions. One would expect to see a plethora of lawsuits in the future, but we all know how well the court system has prioritized essential liberties during the covid era.
Further down the page, Indiana University makes the same sales pitch that the vaccine is “safe, effective, and free, as is seen in TV ads and elsewhere that we are endlessly bombarded by. It is downright creepy that they are trying to convince students of the veracity of something they don’t have a choice to get. Another Orwellian aspect of the policy is the “COVID-19 vaccine report form.” Through the porthole, students can apparently login through their account and submit documentation proving they’ve received the vaccine and complied with all university requirements.
Indiana University isn’t alone in these requirements; the Chronicle of Higher Education indicates that more than three hundred colleges will require a covid vaccine. More are expected to follow.
So Much for Informed Consent
The Nuremberg Code (1947) states that legal capacity to give consent involves the ability “to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.” Students are coerced with the threat of being dismissed from the universities if they do not receive the covid vaccine—a clear violation of the Nuremberg Code.
It is no surprise that government schools are such heavy proponents of the agenda promulgated by the federal government and the pharmaceutical industrial complex, using their authority to indoctrinate a generation to not question authority—even when it comes to some of the most personal decisions an individual makes, such as essential health decisions.
Hopefully, students will resist the tyranny of having personal health decisions dictated to them. If enough refuse, administrations will be forced to change their policies. Enrollment numbers decreasing in these indoctrination stations as a result would be even better yet. One thing is for certain, without a clear repudiation of measures like mandatory covid vaccination, government schools will continue to tighten their totalitarian grip on young minds, creating more easily controlled subjects of the state.