Colleges and universities across the country have adopted mandates in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including George Mason University which has given its students 45 days since New Year’s Day to receive the COVID-19 booster shot.
GMU law student Robert Fellner argued on “The Ingraham Angle” that forcing vaccination and other mandates goes against everything he’s learned at the university about freedom of choice and consent.
“What they’re doing here is they’re preventing students from being able to make a free choice,” he said. “To me, it’s just incredibly unethical.”
“It’s very ironic,” he explained. “It was in my torts class where I learned the importance of having free and voluntary choice and informed consent. So when I got this letter from the president, I thought it was a pop quiz.”
If a student were to refuse on the basis of natural immunity, Fellner said they could potentially lose out on thousands of dollars in scholarship money and face the burden of having to transfer.
The student considered the third vaccine mandate “indefensible” as his young, healthy classmates who have already been double-vaccinated within the last 10 months are now pressured to comply.
“It’s clear it’s a net harm to force them to get a third,” he said. “To see the administration exploit that power and balance and leverage that against these students who were denied a free choice to me is just indefensible.”
Fellner has since launched a petition to repeal the mandate that already has more than 100 signatures from students and alumni.
President of GMU Gregory Washington released the official notice on New Year’s Eve, explicitly stating that all students, staff and faculty are required to receive the booster and submit proof by Feb. 15. This includes GMU employees who were vaccinated by the school’s original August 15, 2021, deadline — and are eligible to receive a booster on Feb. 15 – but are still expected to meet the cut-off.
“After a very successful fall semester of us all working together to stay fully open and protected from COVID, we begin the new year with new challenges and new resolve,” Washington wrote. “The rapid onset of the very contagious omicron variant has made Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland a national epicenter of new cases, so we need to take added precautions to stay healthy. Clearly, omicron has changed the rules, so we must adapt accordingly.”