Maria Ruiz is a student in her fifth and final year at St Mary’s University in Calgary, Alberta, studying in the biology program. Maria loves her school, but she is disappointed in the constantly changing COVID requirements being imposed on staff and students long after tuition has been paid.
St Mary’s is a private Catholic arts and research post-secondary institution with fewer than 900 full and part-time students and under 100 faculty. But the school has gone full vax passport.
By October 4, St Mary’s is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours just to set foot on campus. And these new COVID requirements are making higher learning untenable for some students.
According to Maria, it doesn’t seem that reasonable accommodations are being made to help students who will not participate in vaccine passport mandates and who cannot pay out of pocket for the constant testing, the way other universities are doing.
Online program options are not being offered, at least to students like Maria. She feels now she has no choice but to consider withdrawing from her last year of school, rather than violate her conscience. Maria wants to be clear: she’s no anti-vaxxer. She just wants to be able to make an informed choice about the vaccine, and she doesn’t think enough information is available yet for her to do that.
But Maria says she’s not alone. She says many students are in the same situation as her, but she has a lot of support from her faith community and she is at peace with her decision.
UPDATE: Rebel News reached out to St Mary’s for comment about the vaccine passport mandate at the school. An excerpt of an email from Gerry Turcotte, Ph.D. president & vice-chancellor, St. Mary’s University is included below:
St. Mary’s University is doing its best to negotiate the rapidly changing provincial protocols, including their mandate to request vaccinations in order for us to remain open to in-person classes.
The university, moreover, is doing all it can to support the safety of its students, staff and faculty especially in light of the more limited resources our independent university has compared to the public institutions. We will continue to review and refine our approach as guidelines change, and frankly, given the nature of the pandemic, it is virtually impossible to predict what the landscape will look like in January 2022.