SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Two Santa Clara University students could face the end of their academic careers at the school. This, after their refusal to adhere to university COVID vaccination requirements.
Both the students said they are not on the far right politically, and not so-called "anti-vaxers."
"We’re at school. We’re learning. We’re trying to pass chemistry, and be with our friends, and have fun. And make mistakes. And instead we’re having to worry about the validity and our college careers being put in jeopardy," said 20-year-old Harlow Glen.
She and fellow student Jackson Druker are recent transfers to the Jesuit school of just under 10,000. Both are active – she in a sorority, and he in sports. And both could have their enrollment canceled, for refusing to comply with campus COVID vaccination requirements.
They filed a lawsuit recently against SCU over its COVID vaccination policy. They claim negligence, breach of contract, and infliction of emotional distress, for the school’s adding a vaccination deadline next week after it had collected tuition for the current semester.
Glen sites health concerns, after suffering through a negative reaction from the first dose.
"Within about a couple of days, 48 hours of getting the first shot, I ended up in the ER," said Glen. "I have two medical exemptions from two different [general practitioners] of mine. And the school is still denying them."
Druker took two rounds of the COVID vaccine, and is drawing the line at getting boosted.
"I feel like I’m already protected. I frankly don’t understand why I need more protection?," he said from a campus dorm room. "I don’t want to live by someone else’s standards of health."
Federal, state, and local health officials have said three doses of COVID vaccine offers the best protection.
Santa Clara University requires all faculty, staff, and students be fully vaccinated and boosted by Mar. 17. Failure to do so means students will have their classes dropped.
"They are suing a private organization. A private organization that doesn’t have an obligation to admit them. When it admits them, it's entitled to admit them under the organizations terms. Unless the terms are discriminatory," said education attorney Rebecca Eisenberg.
Both students are hopeful their suit will be successful, and keep them enrolled in SCU.
"The choice is either do it, or get kicked out of school," said Druker.
Late Tuesday, he said he may compromise and take the booster, because his career at this university is on the line. But Harlow Glen said she can’t and is hoping for an injunction before the deadline.
A university spokeswoman sent a statement to KTVU, which read, "Santa Clara University has no comment at the moment."