York University students fear getting the boot from classes for no vax

University says students must prove vaccination by December 1 to continue in-person

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Two York University students say they — and many others — could get booted from in-person classes they have already paid for next semester, for not being fully vaccinated.

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“The fact that we are going to get de-enrolled makes us all nervous. It’s affecting everyone’s mental health” said Salina Gagliardi.

“Personally I am not anti-vax,” said Gagliardi, who is partially vaccinated. “But I don’t believe what they are forcing on us is fair.”

The second-year student studying Mathematics for Education has already received a first vaccine dose.

She said due to a bad reaction to it, she is now hesitant to get the second.

She chose remote courses for this full school year.

Now, she says, “I’m scared that we might not be able to continue receiving education,” she said.

Gagliardi said she — like others — received a notice from Vice-Provost Lucy Fromowitz about two weeks ago.

The message told students that if they are planning to attend in-person in January, they have until Dec. 1 to prove full vaccination.

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“I’m just upset that we won’t be able to finish our education. I’ve been wanting to go to York since Grade 8 for this specific program,” said fellow student Emma Osvaldini, in her second year in Religious Studies and Sociology.

She also has courses that carry over into January.

“If I get de-enrolled at the end of this semester, I won’t get the credits for those courses,” said Osvaldini, who is unvaccinated and still seeking an exemption on religious grounds.

But university deputy spokesperson Yanni Dagonas said “York has not and will not de-enroll students taking remote classes and any student de-enrolled from an in-person class may enroll themselves into a remote class.”

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It is not known how many students face de-enrollment if they do not prove full vaccination by Dec. 1.

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Dagonas pointed out that 96% of staff, 98% of faculty and instructors and 94% of students have been fully vaccinated.

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An online petition slamming de-enrollment from in-person classes had at least 8,200 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

If she gets booted, Osvaldini fears falling behind.

“I was really upset because I am in an education program that is quite difficult to get into,” she said.

“To know that there is a great possibility for me to get kicked out for something like this, when I chose to stay online for the full year, it was really saddening.”

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