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Statement from NYSYR Chair Peter Giunta on the end of COVID vaccine mandate at SUNY campuses

By April 11, 2023Statements

“It’s too little, too late as the SUNY system finally drops its arbitrary and imposing vaccine mandate that’s left thousands of students behind in their academic careers with no recompense to be spoken of. 

This decision is obviously long overdue — we’ve known for years that not only is the vaccine not as effective as once promised, but also that young adults are the least likely to be seriously affected by the virus. But if there’s one lesson to be drawn from the period during which these institutions were granted emergency powers, it’s that these bureaucrats imagined themselves to be our rulers and positioned themselves as the arbiters of truth and health whose edicts and opinions supersede all – no matter how arbitrary and incongruent with reality they may be.

So we can celebrate this victory, but may we remain weary of its staying power – after all, SUNY wants us to be reminded of their ability to impose whatever they please upon students whenever they wish, as they state that “protocols are subject to change” and “vaccines are not required at this time,” implying that they can and will discriminate against students again whenever they deem it appropriate. The period of emergency powers has “ended”, but the threat of the resumption of these dictatorial behaviors remains. 

Let this be a lesson to those who believe that the only solution to the unceremonious stripping of our personal freedoms is to stick their head in the sand and wait for the bad times to be over. Remember: they will never, ever let us live our lives in the way we wish so long as we disagree with their idea of truth. To be silent and willingly ignorant in the face of this fact is to be compliant. To be compliant is to lose our agency to a regime that laughs in the face of common sense.”