DUT Not Backing Down On Vaccination Policy

Persistent protests by students and other concerned civil society groups over the last two weeks against DUT’s new access rules seem to have done very little if anything at all.

In a statement on 2 March 2022, the university made it clear that the return of staff and students to in-person classes will be done in line with their Policy Choices on Vaccination approved by the DUT Council on 4 December 2021.

The Policy choices on vaccination give a person access to DUT premises on three conditions or choices: 

  1. Fully Vaccinated.
  2. Unvaccinated: need to produce a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to seeking access to DUT campus.
  3. Refusal to fully vaccinate or undergo testing allows students only to access learning through online resources and where a class requires physical presence for laboratory work, etc. the first two choices apply.

DUT’s latest statement makes light of students’ grievances regarding the new access policy. Protests are being shrugged off as having been “criminal and violent,” while ignoring the sentiment and aim of the protesting community.

The 2 March statement also arbitrarily labels alternative views, regardless of credibility or validity, as misinformation and warns students and staff against it. However much they feel justified in saying that to students and staff, it would appear that the DUT Council has no qualms about violating freedom of speech and even medical peer review studies on vaccination efficacy and need.

For DUT students, the battle for their constitutional freedoms of bodily integrity and freedom of assembly rages on.

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