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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A COVID-19 vaccine is required if you’re attending Indiana University in the fall.

It’s a controversial decision, and Thursday, several protestors against the mandate were making their voices heard on campus. Parents and community members gathered at the Sample Gates in hopes Indiana University would reverse their decision.

But IU says, they’re not changing course.

The group “IU Family for Choice, not Mandates” says that’s what they’re here to push for, a choice.

“We’re not against the vaccine, we’re for freedom of choice. Everybody should have a right to choose,” said concerned parent Gretchen Policka.

Indiana University has amended its COVID-19 vaccine requirement after facing backlash. Although students, faculty and staff do have to be vaccinated to be on campus, they don’t have to show proof.

That’s not enough for the group’s president, Ann Dorris. She believes this move by IU is illegal.

“Is that punishment for our kids that chose not to be vaccinated?” Dorris questioned.

“We appreciate people voicing their concerns, we expect people to voice their concerns, and we’ve of course heard from them, and it’s not an easy decision,” said IU spokesperson Chuck Carney. He says IU plans to stand firm on its decision.

The university wants to bring back the things that make IU special for Hoosiers.

“It’s the way we can get back to a normal campus environment where we can have full classes,” Carney explained. “We can have in-person dining with people not sitting six feet apart, a full stadium.” 

And this isn’t the only vaccine IU requires. For years, students have had to get six others before coming to campus, and it’s Indiana law to show proof of those. Carney explained although the COVID-19 vaccine is new, it’s not uncommon to require a vaccine to attend.

Protestors don’t agree with that logic.

“They aren’t the same,” said Policka. “Those vaccines have been tested and in clinic trials and have been around for years.”

Still for now, unless you have a religious or medical exemption, a vaccine will be required if you want to attend or work at IU.

“It’s something that will keep us all safe,” said Carney.

To stay up-to-date with IU’s vaccine and COVID-19 policies, click here.