Michigan State University has fired at least two employees and suspended 16 students for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
MSU was one of the first universities to announce in late July that all students and staff must be vaccinated by August 30 for the fall semester. MSU was among seven of the 15 public universities that required the vaccine, along with the universities of Wayne State and Grand Valley State, as well as the University of Michigan’s three campuses.
Other students are still working their way through the disciplinary process, MSU spokesman Dan Olsen said Tuesday.
Olsen confirmed that two employees are no longer with the university, but could not elaborate on the reasons why. He could not immediately give a total number of employees who have been fired for refusing a vaccine.
“COVID-19 vaccines are one of the most powerful and one of the few tools we have to prevent illness, serious illness and death,” said Olsen, adding that more than 90% of MSU students, teachers and -staff themselves have reported that they have been fully vaccinated.
He said the university has “communicated directly with students and staff on several occasions” to remind them of the university’s vaccination mandate.
“At this time, MSU is following appropriate disciplinary procedures for any person who has not been vaccinated and who does not have a waiver,” Olsen said. “Individuals who violate the vaccination guideline will be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion from campus and termination of employment or discharge from the university, for the health and safety of the MSU community.”
According to a statement from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a Washington, DC-based civil rights agency.
Ehm, a resident of Laingsburg, and Rohrer, who lives in Ludington, joined Friday in a class action lawsuit against MSU filed by NCLA, the organization said in a statement.
The NCLA filed the lawsuit in August on behalf of 37-year-old Jeanna Norris, a MSU supervisory administrative and tax officer who works remotely. Norris argued she has natural immunity after contracting COVID-19 late last year and her immunologist said vaccination was not medically necessary.
In late August, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney rejected Norris’ request for a temporary restraining order against MSU’s mandate.
“Like Plaintiff Norris, they pose no threat to the MSU community given their naturally acquired immunity,” said Jenin Younes, NCLA trial attorney. “Yet MSU has chosen to follow a vindictive path that is unsupported by any science. Thanks to the courageous plaintiffs in this case — along with many other Americans — we have the opportunity to take this unconstitutional and unscientific approach in court. to fight.”