Lawyer Normal Rokita: IU’s Vaccination Mandate Violates Indiana Regulation – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita stepped Wednesday on Indiana University’s decision to require faculty and students to provide evidence that they received the coronavirus vaccine.
The Republican said the IU’s request was against the law. Rokita issued his official opinion Wednesday evening at the request of two Republican lawmakers.
However, IU officials remain confident that they are fully exercising their rights, and even refer to statements made by the co-author of the new state law.
It’s a little unclear who will blink first in this showdown or what will happen next.
Meanwhile, IU junior Summer Johnson said she wasn’t concerned about IU’s vaccination mandate. “Just me personally, I’m ready to do it because I miss being on campus and in person so much.”
Johnson said it has been difficult to have exclusively online courses for the past year. Although she hasn’t received the vaccine yet, she plans to do so soon, not just because of the recently announced university mandate.
“I don’t think IU necessarily crosses a line,” said Johnson. “I just think they’re trying to make sure everyone is safe, but I understand how it might upset some people.”
Johnson said she doesn’t know anyone who plans to go elsewhere if they need to show proof of vaccination to return to campus.
“I think my friends are so excited to be back on campus and have it all in person,” she said.
Rokita said he believes he believes the IU policy, which requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for staff, faculties and students, is in violation of it House bill 1405 passed this year which says universities can ask for the vaccine but can’t ask for proof from students.
“To be forced, I think that’s kind of wrong,” said IU student Conor McGee on Tuesday, the day before Rokita’s opinion was made public. McGee already got his vaccine.
“It should be left to everyone’s opinion,” said McGee. “I don’t think it should be enforced by the federal government or anywhere else.”
But Indiana University officials disagree with Rokita’s assessment. They refer to a statement by Rep. Chris Campbell, a co-author of HB 1405. He said state universities and colleges are not affected by the bill.
IU said they will continue to grant religious and medical exemptions as warranted, similar to the other six vaccinations required by state law on campus.
Scott Isenhart, a former IU student, has no problem with the mandate. “IU’s thoughts in this process are consistent with any other vaccinations required to allow students to participate and maintain a healthy atmosphere.”
Rokita’s office didn’t respond to an interview request from News 8 on Wednesday evening.
Indiana University officials pointed to earlier statements and also declined an interview request.