Students Petition For Revisions To CUNY’s Non-Vax Withdrawal Policy 

Already sparse classrooms are losing further students to CUNY's vague and callous implementation of vaccination mandates. / Philippe Bout via Unsplash


By Matt Hirsch


   With the Oct. 7 CUNY vaccination verification deadline approaching, and some students facing academic withdrawal, a petition from anonymous Queens College students surfaced with over 700 signatures. The petition demands CUNY to handle withdrawals on a case-by-case basis and make its policies clearer.

   “The petition from Queens College is very similar to the opinion at Brooklyn College and what CUNY student governments across the board are advocating for,” Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Co-President Iqura Naheed told The Vanguard, referencing a recent joint executive order by USG and Graduate Student Organization (GSO).

   Naheed named situations such as students who are still completing their vaccine verification or don’t need to access campus until December for finals as reasons why USG and GSO took action.

  Though CUNY has already started to change its policies, USG also plans to submit a joint resolution that has already passed in the USG Student Senate calling for CUNY to make clear when and who will be withdrawn from classes. 

  “Both the Brooklyn College administration and CUNY have released more clear policies. They’ve outlined what the exceptions to the policies are. They’ve also outlined that there is gonna be an appeal process,” said Naheed. Now that CUNY has agreed to consider these exceptions, USG is focused on creating a plan to implement them and prevent students with valid exceptions from being dropped from their classes.

  Naheed emphasized that she and her colleagues do not intend to end vaccine mandates but are calling CUNY to be more considerate in their policy enforcement. “This idea of dropping people across the board without more attention to detail is what the advocacy is about,” she said. “Over the past two weeks or so, the University Student Senate made a notice about it to address CUNY itself. This is a united effort across CUNY.”