A group of parents and students is threatening to sue the University of Connecticut unless the school drops its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
It requires most students to be fully vaccinated to be on campuses for the fall semester.
On the now-quiet UConn campus in Storrs, every student we spoke with had received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Better safe than sorry. I figured I should give it a shot,” said Nick Dagosto, a UConn rising senior.
But there was not universal agreement about the school’s policy requiring students be fully vaccinated to be in-person on campuses for the fall semester.
“I personally was vaccinated. But I still feel it should be up to the discretion of the student,” said Chris Lombardo, a UConn rising junior.
“Being such a large campus, it is important to get vaccinated if we are going to be doing such large-scale events,” said Alexa Sanson, a UConn rising senior.
Now, an organization called The Family Freedom Endeavor said it’s representing a group of UConn students and parents. It’s a non-profit which said it defends civil rights for families.
Its attorney sent a letter to school leaders:
“...demanding that the university withdraw their policy mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its students by July 2, 2021 or face a lawsuit.”
The group raises concerns about the legality of the mandate, rare side effects of the vaccine and how COVID-19 tends to be less severe among younger people.
When UConn announced the policy in early June, it argued it would help reduce the risk the virus will spread and sicken people, especially in busy spots like dorms and classrooms.
It also pointed out it’s similar to plans at other schools in the region and there are exemptions for medical and other reasons.
“I feel like for us, we’re very abled body, young, like why not get vaccinated and make it safer for everyone else?” said Meghan Passeri, a UConn rising senior.
UConn said it polled students and most wanted to receive the vaccine and supported a policy to require it.