Mask, vaccine mandates on the rise at colleges

, Spencer Irvine, 1 Comment

As colleges return to in-person, normal classes this fall, more and more colleges and universities are imposing mask mandates and vaccine requirements for returning or incoming college students. There were some lawsuits filed by students who said that vaccine requirements were unconstitutional.

The vast majority of colleges and universities have imposed mask mandates on their college students and staff, but there are six notable exceptions. The six flagship universities which do not have mask mandates are the University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Nebraska, and University of Utah.

All other states in the country have major higher education institutions which imposed mask mandates, such as the Arizona State University, California State University system, University of Michigan, University of Texas, University of Washington, and University of Virginia, to name a few. Community colleges also joined the list of mask mandating institutions across the country, numbering in the dozens, if not hundreds.

With vaccine mandates, the list is a lot shorter than the mask mandate list. Some of the major universities on this list are the California State University system, the University of Colorado system, several Connecticut universities such as Ivy League school Yale University, the University of Delaware, Georgetown University, and Indiana University.

One example of students battling their university over the vaccine mandates was at Indiana University, where the university successfully defeated a challenge by eight students in the courts after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The courts said that the vaccine mandate was not unconstitutional nor burdensome to students and had enough exemptions that did not infringe on constitutional rights.

Politically-red states such as Georgia do not have a mask mandate nor a vaccine mandate for college students at its public institutions, but it is not universal among red states. Yet more politically-blue states tend to have institutions that have both requirements for its students and staff.