‘Surveillance State’: College Students Fight Back Against COVID Restrictions On Campuses


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Students at a number of colleges across the U.S. have been battling their schools’ “overreach” of COVID-19 restrictions.

While around 72% of college students support vaccine mandates on campus, and 82% are in favor of mask mandates, some student groups have been staunchly opposed to the rapid expansion of schools’ surveillance capabilities.

“It feels like the school is blackmailing me, they get all this personal information and in exchange I get an education,” said Dan Smith, a graduate student at Wayne State University in Detroit, said, according to the WSJ. “It’s the growth of the surveillance state.”

University of Southern California (USC), whose student body’s vaccination rate is 95%, requires students to leave the classroom if they want to take a sip of water, as sliding masks down even temporarily while in class is deemed too dangerous, WSJ reported.

“It just feels like overreach,” USC student Marin Ruiz said. “You wonder, where is all this medical information going? Can professors see it?” (RELATED: Student Says He Is Barred From University’s Online Classes Over Vaccine Status)

Students at Oakland University have succeeded in resisting the implementation of “bio buttons” that monitor respiration, heart rate, and temperature and are meant to notify the school of the wearer’s COVID-19 symptoms.

Similarly, Albion College students petitioned the institution to roll back an app that tracked their location both on and off campus.

Although religious exemptions to vaccine mandates remain an option in many colleges, students requesting it have faced “grave consequences,” according to a press release by Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a libertarian student organization.

Oakland University (OU) student Inara Ramazanova was charged with “collusion or conspiracy” by the school as well as being denied on-campus housing for detailing the process of obtaining a religious exemption on a pro-vaccine choice Facebook group, the press release said.

Another OU student, Jake Yetzke, was barred from a number of classes and a performance necessary for graduation after having a religious exemption request filed. The student also complained about “daily discrimination from school administrators, professors, and even classmates,” YAL said in the press release.