Pressure is mounting for Rowan University to eliminate a broad exemption from their vaccination requirement for students returning to the campus this Fall.

When Rowan announced all students would have to provide proof of vaccination status, they included common exemptions for medical and religious reasons. However, they also included an exemption for "personal reasons," and provided no clarification of what that could include.

This is unsettling to many professors and other staff who face the prospect of being in classrooms and lecture halls without knowing the vaccine status of students.

Math professor Eric Milou is leading a petition drive asking Rowan officials to rescind the "personal reasons" exemption. In a letter to the University Board of Trustees and Administration, Milou claims the inclusion of that exemption jeopardizes the health of everyone on campus and in the community. He requests the school only grant "documented medical and religious exceptions."

"The current University policy of allowing exceptions for personal reasons with no documentation has significant potential to worsen this crisis and induce substantial-to-high levels of spread when Fall 2021 begins. Absent a vaccine requirement as the Delta strain continues its exponential growth trajectory, we risk the health of our university community, the health of the larger Glassboro community, and the health of the global community." - letter to the Rowan University Board of Trustees

Using the hashtag "NOT #rowanproud," Milou posted his letter on Facebook, urging fellow faculty members to sign and "protect the campus and community."

A spokesman for Rowan University tells northjersey.com no change in policy is planned until federal drug regulators approve COVID vaccines beyond the current emergency use designation. At that time, spokesman Joe Cardona says, students who declined to get vaccinated for "personal reasons" will be required to either "get vaccinated or opt-out for medical or religious reasons."

That's not good enough for Milou, or the more than 100 faculty and staff who have signed his letter. "We're not going to rest," Milou told the Courier Post, "There's just too much at stake."


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