The University of New Mexico, the state’s flagship university in Albuquerque, has drafted a new COVID-19 vaccine requirement policy for all students and employees before returning to campus this Fall.
If the policy is enacted, it is likely to create legal challenges for the school due to mandatory vaccines at a public, taxpayer-funded university being against constitutional rights. The university has yet to make a final decision.
“While the University has not made a final decision, we have drafted a vaccine requirement policy for our community’s consideration,” UNM President Garnett Stokes said in a written message Monday. “Your review and feedback are encouraged.”
“Our top priority continues to be safeguarding the health and well-being of our community, while … provid(ing) a world-class educational experience and advancing our public research mission,” Stokes added.
UNM’s policy reads, “In order to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the UNM community, the University will require that all personnel accessing University Facilities and Programs in person be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as soonas possible, but no later than August 2, 2021 for staff returning to work on campus in any capacity, or by the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year for faculty and students not currently working, living or learning on campus. This policy requires all UNM staff, faculty and students who access campus facilities, housing, programs, services and activities in person to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions and exemptions.”
The far-left University of California and California State University systems have said they will require the vaccine. The University of Colorado at Boulder will also require it for faculty, staff and students. Colorado State University also plans to require the vaccine at its Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses. Rutgers University in New Jersey among other schools has adopted the COVID-19 inoculation mandate.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, “UNM said on its website that university employees and students should make all efforts to comply with the policy by Aug. 2, or the start of the fall semester.”
The mandatory vaccine requirement would be across the board for all of UNM’s facilities, however, a few religious and medical exceptions will be allowed, provided the individuals with such exceptions jump through extra hurdles, including other “safety measures” and frequent testing.
New Mexico State University spokesman Justin Bannister said the university “is closely watching the discussion …, but has not yet made a decision to require NMSU students and employees to be vaccinated.”
Feedback on UNM’s policy can be submitted here.