In the view of attorney Lucia Sinatra, allowing college students to have informed consent and the ability to choose or reject COVID-19 vaccination—without fear of losing their educational path—is a simple right of a free people. That’s one reason why she co-founded No College Mandates, an advocacy group fighting for students’ right to make their own health care decisions.
Sinatra co-founded No College Mandates over a year ago along with another similarly concerned parent whom she met online. Both were worried about college students having the vaccines forced on them for fear of losing their education.
“This is not [just] about my kids,” said Sinatra, a California resident with two college student children of her own. “I’m a former corporate securities attorney. Any attorney not opposing forced medical treatments needs to go back to law school.”
Sinatra’s children were able to get exemptions to their schools’ COVID-19 vaccine requirements, but she had empathy for other students who weren’t so bold or fortunate.
“Policies were so bad last year that kids had to leave money and diplomas on the table. … I could not stay silent in the face of these mandates,” Sinatra said.
Sinatra and many others have pointed out that it’s against various international laws and informed consent ethics to force experimental medical treatments on people. So, she’s taken up this battle for freedom.
“I’m fighting for every college student that doesn’t want to take these vaccines,” she said. “Right now, there is so much fear.”
Sinatra’s initial quest to protect her children from what she believes is a harmful and experimental treatment being forced by government dictate led her to find like-minded parents online and then to form No College Mandates. The mission of No College Mandates is to restore informed consent and health care choice to college students by ending the COVID-19 vaccine mandates at U.S. colleges. The group also is combatting mask mandates, which remain on some college campuses and continue to be pushed in some businesses such as those in the health care industry.
According to Sinatra, hundreds of U.S. colleges are currently forcing the vaccine onto their students. Since she has started No College Mandates, many more students have been able to get exemptions, but some students—like those in medical programs—are still trying to navigate strict mandates.
“They’re pushing this when we all know the vaccines don’t prevent infection. We think they are setting up the college population to be vaccinated yearly,” she said.
Sinatra finds it particularly alarming that the vaccine has been forced onto college students since, as a group, they have the least risk of disease or death from the virus. It has long been known that those most at risk for sickness and death from COVID-19 (indeed, most of those who die from it, too) are age 65 or older and living with a few or more comorbidities that predispose them to devastating effects from the virus. Healthy, young people are very rarely killed by COVID-19, though it has quickly become evident that the vaccine can have deadly side effects for young people.
“Students are being forced to take these vaccines that they don’t need. None of it makes any sense. It’s about control and politics,” Sinatra said. “It’s just a disgrace—what they’ve been able to get away with and how they’ve abused the student population.”
At the height of these mandates, when exemptions were difficult to obtain, students risked losing out on their education—and their chosen careers—by not complying. Students didn’t want to lose scholarships, their places on college teams, their fellowships, or simply the ability to graduate from the school they chose to attend. And in today’s era of conformity, many students’ trust in the dictates of the authorities is misplaced with respect to the vaccine. This exposes the paradox of the state of higher education today: While colleges used to teach students to think independently and critically about all sorts of matters, colleges now insist that students toe the ideological line.
“We’ve been trying to get students to just think. Forget everything you’ve been told and read the data,” Sinatra said.
That goal isn’t as simple as it sounds, though. It now seems that the most important part of this movement is to carry on with tenacity and courage.
“Courage inspires others to find their courage. … I’m hoping that when I introduce students to each other, … their courage becomes infectious,” says Sinatra. “Come join our fight—we need more voices and more coverage. If you are opposed to college vaccine mandates, join us.”
Image credit: Memorial Medical Center-Christian Emmer, CC BY-NC 4.0