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"It borders on being discriminatory": Mother of Fordham University senior upset by school's COVID vaccine mandate to attend graduation ceremony

Local universities set vaccination requirements for graduation guests
Local universities set vaccination requirements for graduation guests 01:53

NEW YORK - This spring, local colleges are returning to in-person pomp and circumstance, but a few parents are unhappy about COVID-19 vaccination mandates to attend ceremonies.

Fordham University holds its graduation on May 21, and west coast mom Moira, who asked we not use her last name, would like to be there.

"This is a big life event ... for families that have paid and supported. And it's outdoors," she told CBS2's Tony Aiello.

Moira's daughter is a Fordham senior who is vaccinated. as the university requires, but Moira and other family members have not received COVID-19 vaccines.

"I think everybody's allowed to follow their own health path, and that it's a choice," Moira said.


Some schools, including Rutgers, Pace and Old Westbury, are not requiring vaccination for people attending graduation. Others, like Columbia, are requiring full vaccination, while NYU and Fordham are mandating full vaccination plus a booster for those eligible.

"Everyone has to be vaccinated on Fordham campus. It's to protect the kids themselves, to make sure that everyone there is safe," Fordham student Alex Yankovsky said.

"I think it should be up to people's discretion if they want to get vaccinated or not," one woman said.

"I do see the other side, but it is Fordham and if it's their policy, then I guess it's what you have to do," Fordham student Anna Nguyen said.


Moira is working with other parents who've asked Fordham to waive the graduation vaccine mandate.

"It borders on being discriminatory, I think," she said.

Fordham told CBS2, "Commencement brings more than 10,000 guests to campus who spend an extended period sitting shoulder to shoulder during the ceremonies. To waive our vaccination requirement would pose too great a risk."

Moira says she's coming to New York and hoping for a change of policy before the big day.

"I'm gonna be there," she said.

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