Senate Assembly resolution urges mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations


The University of Michigan faculty’s Senate Assembly has approved a resolution that supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff, with limited legally mandated exceptions.

The measure passed April 19, after a brief discussion, by a vote of 25 to 4. Four members abstained.

The resolution reads:

WHEREAS, Senate Assembly affirms the value of an in-person residential experience at the University of Michigan.
WHEREAS, Senate Assembly supports the safe return of all students, faculty, and staff to in-person campus activities in the Fall 2021 semester as is reasonably practicable.
BE IT RESOLVED, Senate Assembly supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty, and staff with limited legally mandated exceptions.

Speaking in favor of the resolution, Vice Chair Annalisa Manera said the university has to be mindful of people who live in Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities. 

 “There will be a lot of people who cannot be vaccinated, either for medical reasons” or because they are children, she said. “The university has the obligation to protect those around us.” 

Senate Assembly Member Luke Williamson Hyde, a member of university’s COVID-19 faculty council, said he believes the resolution is consistent with the direction administration is going in as it works to develop policies around vaccines.  

Chair Colleen Conway noted that various boards and committees around campus have had recent discussions around vaccines.

In response to a question from a member about incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated, Conway said that was an idea that could be passed on to administration. 

 “I think the biggest incentive is just being allowed to work. So if you don’t get it, you don’t get to work,” Senate Assembly member Dinesh Pal said.

Conway said she would share the results of the Senate Assembly vote with administration.

Members of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs endorsed the resolution last week.

The university has strongly encouraged members of the campus community to pursue vaccination opportunities wherever possible. Faculty, staff, students, spouses or other qualified adults, and dependents age 16 and older are invited to register for openings at clinics on or near campus April 21, 22 and 23. Details can be found on the Campus Maize and Blueprint.

The Senate Assembly and SACUA are part of U-M’s central faculty governance system. The Senate Assembly consists of 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses representing the interests and concerns of faculty throughout the university. SACUA is the faculty governance system’s nine-member executive arm.



  1. David Blair
    on April 20, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Not going to happen or will be complied with for several reasons.

  2. Mike Lamentola
    on April 20, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Would love to see the research I’m sure was presented before this vote. What percentage of faculty, staff and students have not received a vaccine and plan not to receive one? This would tell us if incentive or force is the best approach. What percent (per-capita) of the population can not receive the vaccine due to medical issues? This would tell us why we are even discussing incentivizing or forcing vaccines on those who currently prefer to opt out. As for children 16 and younger there is a reason they are not urged to receive the vaccine.

  3. Katie Culver
    on April 20, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Dinesh Pal’s comment is appalling. Denying someone their livelihood and right to work because they make a personal choice concerning their own body and health is cruel and manipulative. I’m disgusted.

    • John Hooker
      on April 20, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Thank you Katie for your comment. I could not have made a better statement on how shocked I was to read that statement from Dinesh Pal.

    • Sara Pinnow
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:15 am

      Thank you Katie I agree with you 100%.

    • Krystal Binder
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:27 am

      This is unconstitutional and I will NOT let anyone bully me into doing something I do not want to do!

      • Elena Nasaudeanu
        on April 21, 2021 at 8:25 pm

        Agree 100%

    • David Nesbitt
      on April 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

      I agree, that comment was appalling and disturbing.

      I think people should also take a step back and think about the precedent this type of mandate would set for other issues.

  4. Jessyca Hannah
    on April 20, 2021 at 8:49 am

    “I think the biggest incentive is just being allowed to work. So if you don’t get it, you don’t get to work,” Senate Assembly member Dinesh Pal said.

    If that is the supposed incentive for faculty and staff, what is the incentive for students? They can’t attend UM. Seems reasonable…..(sarcasm). This is the most appalling statement I have seen come out of a member of the University community in a long time. Does his statement imply that if you don’t get the vaccine then you’re fired? That’s a very big implication.
    Also, what are the legally limited mandated exceptions? I was forced to get a flu shot in the past because I had a boss that had a vendetta, how will we know that our exemption will actually be viewed in an unbiased way?

    • Katie Culver
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:05 am

      Dinesh Pal’s reasoning sounds more like a threat than an incentive.. very appalling indeed.

  5. Damien Evans
    on April 20, 2021 at 8:53 am

    “Federal law 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III) requires that the person to whom an EUA vaccine is administered be advised, ‘of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, of the consequences, if any, of refusing administration of the product, and of the alternatives to the product that are available and of their benefits and risks.’”

    • Kirstn Tatar
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:08 am

      In addition, the State of Michigan allows for religious and philosophical exemptions, besides medical ones. To deny the other 2 exemptions flouts State law.

  6. Kari Dumbeck
    on April 20, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Forced vaccinations on experimental drugs goes against the Nuremberg Code. All Covid 19 vaccinations are experimental so that means you canNOT force anyone to take them. This can and will bring law suits. Not to mention all the harm they will and are already causing the human body.

    • Kirstn Tatar
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:11 am

      Yes, where there is a risk, there must be a choice. And to terminate someone’s employment for simply exercising their constitutional and fundamental right to choose not to inject risky substances into their body is illegal and immoral.

    • Krystal Binder
      on April 20, 2021 at 9:28 am

      Agreed 100% they can NOT mandate an experimental vaccine!!

    • Danuta Allen
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      I find it deeply ironic that such a mandate could cross someone’s mind in an institution that requires its faculty and students to be certified in the responsible conduct of research (the training also highlights the importance of obtaining informed consent from experiment participants…). As long as the products are under EUA, they are experimental, and could be pulled off the market at any time. Who’s going to be liable for any health damages in people who are forced to be experimentally vaccinated? Who can predict long-term effects since the products have only been on the market for less than a year? This decision is an appalling disregard for human life and well-being.

  7. James Vernier
    on April 20, 2021 at 9:10 am

    So is U of M taking on all responsibilities for me and my family for being forced to take a vaccine that’s is experimental if I have a bad reaction, ? Or do I just get fired ??

    • Veronica Christensen
      on April 23, 2021 at 1:32 am

      Unfortunately They are not held accountable for any side effects/death

  8. Thomas Cook
    on April 20, 2021 at 9:18 am

    How tone deaf can you be re: Dinesh Pal’s comment / the 25 who voted in favor. Somehow the teachers and staff at my kids’ K-12 schools have managed to teach in person this whole academic year without a vaccine. Not to mention all the gas station clerks, baggers and checkout folks and stockers at grocery stores, the linemen who keep our power on, the HVAC techs who’ll come in the middle of the night if your furnace goes out. And we haven’t even touched on all the health care workers and first responders – thankfully most of us recognize and acknowledge their heroic efforts. All these folks keeping society going without the benefit of a vaccine.

    Oh, and then closer to home there’s all of the staff who’ve had a duty to report in person every day since way before there was a vaccine available or while they wait to get it. Who do you think kept the lights on, the water flowing, the steam running, the trash picked up, the buildings cleaned, the snow plowed, and all the 1’s and 0’s moving?

    But the Senate Assembly thinks we can’t move forward without near 100% compliance… to do things others have already been doing for over a year? Look, I’m incredibly grateful for my job here, I’m grateful I was deemed “essential” enough to get the vaccine pretty early, but this forcing everyone to live in fear and settling on the lowest common denominator for safety has got to stop. Let people make prudent, independent, adult decisions for themselves.

  9. Cindy Kraly
    on April 20, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Well said.

  10. Kyle Svihra
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:01 am

    “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

    -Thomas Sowell

    • Gaylene Opal-Deitering
      on April 20, 2021 at 10:31 am


  11. Gaylene Opal-Deitering
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:18 am

    So, if you propose that some governing body has the right to access shot/medical records, where does it stop? Do you get to know how many and what dosage a person may have of antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, so that the community can be safe from someone with a mental illness? Do you get to know how many stints a person has, what surgeries they have had, so that you can choose the fittest for employment? How about the number of abortions, or whether they use birth control, so that you can determine if they might take maternity leave? Where does it end? MEDICAL information is protected by DOCTOR PATIENT PRIVILEGE, and not open to public record.

    • Danuta Allen
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      I seems that we are already way past medical records being confidential. Making it possible for the university administration to know, for instance, which students complied with weekly testing begs the question who has the right to access this type of information.

      • Veronica Christensen
        on April 23, 2021 at 1:29 am

        So many illegal violations

  12. Joseph Lipa
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:23 am

    I agree with the previous commenters. Forcing someone to take any experimental medical treatment not only seems illegal, but totally unethical. We have to remember that none of the COVID vaccines have formal approval by the FDA; they merely have Emergency Use Authorization, which means that the benefits may outweigh the risks for certain populations. As others have noted, the EUA language explicitly states that the individual has the choice whether or not to take the experimental treatment.

    In human subjects research, we require explicit consent of individuals to enroll in studies, even for formally approved treatments. By that logic, forcing someone to take an experimental treatment or lose their job seems totally inconsistent and inhumane (not to mention a lawsuit waiting to happen). The University prides itself on the value of Inclusiveness; I would sincerely hope that its policies are inclusive of everyone’s right to make their own informed decisions about their health.

  13. Michael Gruber
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:24 am

    This is a vaccine being pushed without evidence of long term efficacy or safety to the individual. Why?

  14. Jennifer Abrecht
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:55 am

    how can the university legally force us to get a vaccine that is NOT FDA approved?? It is only approved for “emergency use”. I have already had Covid19 through natural infection. There are huge concerns around if it is even safe for someone who has already had Covid19 to get immunized after a recent infection. I heard an immunologist (pro vaccine doctor) state that he thinks people should get tested for antibodies BEFORE getting the vaccine. I will not get this vaccine. I need to see a LOT more research before I will volunteer to be a guinea pig!!

  15. Brynn Farnstrom
    on April 20, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Completely unethical to do this!!! This is not like the mandatory flu vaccine, totally different and experimental. I will not work for a company that forces this type of vaccine when long term studies and extensive trials have not been done, and major side effects have been documented, so much so that they pull Johnson’s off the market. I hope everyone fights to overturn this decision, whether you choose to get the shot or not…IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE! Unbelievable and disappointing to say the least.

  16. Whitney Berger
    on April 20, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Under His Eye

    • Gaylene Opal-Deitering
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:33 am

      Exactly! LOL

  17. Samuel Vandiver
    on April 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    This is unsettling news. There are all kinds of rational, reasonable, and scientific reasons for not getting this experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine. That we’re already — hardly 4 months in to vaccinating — considering making this mandatory, without any mid- to long-term consequences assessed at all, is concerning. I believe a mandatory experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine for workers and students would be unethical and irresponsible, and I will protest such a decision, should it go so far as to be put in place.

    What’s unfortunate is that there has been virtually no open discourse about what are valid reasons for concern; that is not science. Science welcomes dissenting views and opinions and theories, and I have not seen one video, Zoom call, article, or headline from Michigan Medicine that allows for such voices to even be heard. I would argue it has been an effective media blitz that is aimed at relegating any reasonable hesitancy about this experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine to the fringes of tinfoil conspiracies. It’s either: convince and encourage those hesitant or fire them? You’re not even going to open a discussion? You have no interest in hearing the concerns of the front-line workers, many of whom have been exposed to the virus and have natural immunity? Yes, certainly, it may be a minority, but why are the unvaccinated minority not to be considered under your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ethos?

    Also, many people are under the false impression that getting the experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine “protects” those around him/her/them. This is simply not true, yet it is part of Michigan Medicine’s PR campaign. Why? To my knowledge, no peer-reviewed studies have been completed to show that administering this experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine to the broader public will confer immunity, especially in the middle of a pandemic where we’re dealing with a virus that is rapidly mutating.

    If the University chooses to move forward with this egregious mandatory experimental emergency-authorized vaccine, I would propose this: allow the unvaccinated the opportunity to get tested once a week. This would likely prove immunity (and thus the unlikelihood of transmission) even better than an experimental, emergency-authorized vaccine that has not been proven to reduce transmission. Or, allow the unvaccinated the opportunity to get tested for antibodies. There are many other, much more ethical and responsible ways to go about this. Very disappointing that I work for a place that would ostracize and demean people, front-line workers even, who hold what are truly valid, ethical, scientific and moral concerns.

    • Gaylene Opal-Deitering
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:34 am

      We ARE the study, just unknowingly!

    • Danuta Allen
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Perfectly said, I agree 100%.

  18. Kyle Svihra
    on April 20, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Maybe they should build a wall around us to protect us. I heard that worked really well in eastern europe.

  19. Jeff Freshcorn
    on April 20, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Had I read the quote from Dinesh Pal before receiving my vaccination I would have refused. I now feel anger for getting it. As an alum and employee I am deeply disappointed and troubled by this attack on civil liberties and individual rights.

  20. Stefanie Ainley
    on April 21, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Aside from the well stated comments above regarding privacy and personal rights, I find it appalling that in our institution that prides itself on diversity, equity, and inclusion, would allow comments such as Denish Pal stated as an incentive is not only antithetical to our values, it’s reprehensible. We have stood against egregious and inflammatory statements made by members of our community in recent past and I believe we should do so here as well. I do not want to associate with a community of Senate Assembly members who are so dismissive. I would hope that faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents agree that such statements are not acceptable.

  21. Wanda Filipiak
    on April 21, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Not even mention, any complication/side effects occurred after the use of experimental drugs are excluded from health insurance coverage.

  22. Wanda Filipiak
    on April 21, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    By the way, from an epidemiological point of view the use of massive vaccination in the middle of a pandemic is wrong.  It won’t prevent from spreading the disease, just the opposite, it will make only more aggressive and resistant variants to survive and populate. That is why we see now more young people being sick. 

  23. Danuta Allen
    on April 21, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    I’m absolutely appalled by the utter disregard for the fact that this is, BY DEFINITION, a medical experiment (and it will remain so until the clinical trials are over). Any consent at this point must be informed, voluntarily, and in no way coerced. To make it mandatory, under the penalty of losing employment or right to pursuing education would be a blatant violation of human rights, besides obviously violating law (as stated in previous comments).

    • Elena Nasaudeanu
      on April 21, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Agree 100%

  24. Danuta Allen
    on April 21, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Perfectly said. I agree 100%.

    • Danuta Allen
      on April 21, 2021 at 7:43 pm

      This was my reply to another comment, which somehow did not get posted where intended.

  25. Elena Nasaudeanu
    on April 21, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    This is illegal and will go to courts. You can not mandate an experimental vaccine with unknown long lasting side effects for a virus with 99.7% survival rate. Do your research. How about strengthen your immune system through a healthy diet, exercise, reduce your stress level and enjoy the outdoors and sunlight. Thanks but no thanks.

  26. Lisa Stebelton
    on April 22, 2021 at 8:03 am

    People who have had COVID already have the antibodies. Why would we insist they get the vaccine? That seems unreasonable and unnecessary to me.

  27. Christina Certo
    on April 22, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Under the CDC’s own guidelines, what is being pushed is NOT a vaccine but an experimental gene therapy. The trials won’t be done until 2023. Please see For anyone wishing to fight this, please contact [email protected]. This is a group that is fighting ILLEGAL requirements by employers to take the vaccine. Which this is.

    • Brigette Myers
      on April 22, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Christina, Thank you so much for this information. I will be checking out these sites.

    • Elena Nasaudeanu
      on April 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      I already reported this to [email protected]; I’m glad that somebody else is aware of the opportunities that are available to us as free people who have rights in state of MI and US;

  28. Fawn Kieliszewski
    on April 22, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Interesting that no one voted “No,” only abstained. Even the faculty are afraid to dissent. The arrogance of some faculty does not cease to amaze me. The belief that with a vote they can determine and demand how people live their lives…because of course, they “know” what is best.

  29. Brigette Myers
    on April 22, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    My body, my choice! No thank you I don’t want to be part of a research experiment! It’s bad enough I have to get the flu shot to maintain my employment. I will be leaving the University if they make the Covid “vaccine” mandatory. People need to read up on this more and quite listening to just the news and stars that are promoting it.

  30. Veronica Christensen
    on April 23, 2021 at 1:23 am

    University of Michigan being one of the top universities I find it very disgusting that A handful of people can vote for mandatory vaccines and who decides whether I have a job or not if I decide not to take it it’s a legal and the last time I checked we live in the United States of America Where we can choose what we put into our bodies I refuse to be a lab rat and if you call the vaccine companies Hotline it will even tell you . CDCs own guidelines what is being pushed is not a vaccine but experimental gene therapy it is an experimental vaccine with unknown lasting side effects for a virus that is 99.7 survival rate to make it mandatory under the penalty under losing my job is a violation of human rights and it is illegal for a company or anyone to force when it has not been approved.

  31. Veronica Christensen
    on April 23, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Federal law prohibits employers and others from requiring vaccinations with covid 19 vaccine distributed under an EAU. While organizations are free to encourage employees and students to be vaccinated federal law provides that at least until a vaccine is licensed individuals must have an option to accept or decline I have contacted freedom . To take away my livelihood because I don’t want to be a lab rat I find it very disturbing that the university of Michigan will force this upon its workers.

  32. Veronica Christensen
    on April 23, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    It’s just a mask then it’s just a shot than it’s just no rights and it is against the law federally to mandate people receive a vaccination when it has not been approved and the survival rate is 99.7% its crimes against humanity and no one can be held accountable for the reactions that people can face and not only that saying that The incentive is to get the shot or have no job should frighten anyone and everyone that has the ability to pass this forward and they get to decide whether or not for religious beliefs or peoples personal reasons why they can’t take it

  33. Lori Rathbun
    on April 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    For an organization that holds strong to Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and so on… I would love to know the dynamic of this Faculty Senate. Are any Christians or Conservative thinkers involved in this “Senate”. How dare a group of individuals gather to deicide what is best for a large population and more personally, my body. No thank you!! Working at UM is a job.. you will not dictate to me what I put into my body. I am not sure what kind of degree it requires or how smart you have to be to extend your arm… because the masses are… to receive a poke, that is not a vaccine, that has not been approved that is for a virus that you have a 99% rate of surviving.

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