Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, is requiring all students enrolled for in-person classes this fall be vaccinated.
"We are committed to health and safety for all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccination to our student immunization requirements will help provide a safer and more robust college experience for our students," said Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway when the mandate was announced in late March.
In response to that mandate, hundreds of Rutgers students and parents late last month demonstrated on the university campus, protesting the vaccine mandate. In addition, conservative state lawmakers came alongside protesters by introducing legislation to prohibit forced vaccinations.
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, says the New Jersey school is treading on shaky legal ground.
"First, it's an emergency vaccine – [which means] it hasn't been approved by the FDA and cannot be mandated by any governmental entity," the attorney explains. "And any private entity that mandates it is setting themselves up for some potential, serious liabilities if any student should have a reaction [to the vaccine]."
While Rutgers is requiring students be jabbed, the university is excusing staff and faculty. Dacus says that doesn't make good sense.
"It's also seemingly very illogical to require students, who are at much lower risk, to be vaccinated and then not require faculty and staff. It really doesn't make sense," he tells One News Now. "I think the students realize that – and that's probably one reason why they're protesting."
Rutgers is permitting students to request an exemption from vaccination on medical or religious grounds.
The rally in May was organized by Turning Point USA, NJ Stands Up, and Young Americans for Liberty.