The following was written by Mark Huber, an intern with the Convention of States Project. College students across the country received an email in the summer of 2021. The emails were worded differently, but the content was the same: get the COVID-19 vaccine or face the consequences. I received my email following my freshman year at St. John’s University. I’m not opposed to vaccines in general, but as a Christian and practicing Roman Catholic, I feel uncomfortable taking this vaccine. It is produced using aborted fetal cell lines, and since I believe abortion is a sin, I refrain from using any products that benefit from it. I submitted my religious exemption to St. John’s on August 6, 2021, and eagerly waited for its acceptance. I had not received a response to my exemption request by the time the semester began, so I contacted Student Affairs. Their response was as shocking as it was frustrating. The office said that due to a “clerical” error they were unable to process my request within an adequate time frame. They apologized for this mistake, but denied my religious exemption. That’s it. They gave no other reason for their denial, and they said I would have no opportunity to appeal. This happened the day before school was set to begin. Even if I wanted to take the shot (and I had no plans to do so), I would not have had enough time to get vaccinated and submit the proof before the school year began. So, my family and I decided to fight. We joined a class-action lawsuit with 15 other families against St. John’s University, and we argued that the denial of our religious exemptions violated our constitutional rights. SEE ALSO: Biased Much? “Vax” Named Oxford “Word of Year” While #Naturalimmunity Banned on Social Media Two of my friends and I continued attending in-person classes as our lawsuit proceeded. We were told the lawsuit could drag on for months, and we didn’t want to fall behind in our studies. Surprisingly, we were able to do just that. At least, for a time. The university restricted our access to many university-provided programs. Such programs included Canvas (a website that allows us to take tests and quizzes, and submit homework), the university’s UIS, and our degree works. Few of my classes relied on these online tools, so I simply submitted work via my personal email (my school email was also restricted) and downloaded notes that were sent to me from fellow classmates. Some classes were not so easy. I emailed my finance professor about my problem, but she did not respond. When I asked her about it, she said she didn’t understand why I wasn’t able to take the quiz. After a little convincing, I was able to take the quiz using her account. Not all my professors were as clueless or apathetic. I told my marketing professor about the lawsuit and why I was locked out of the school’s online systems. He told me he disagreed with the mandates that the university was enforcing and assured me that he would create alternate ways for me to complete my tests and assignments. SEE ALSO: College Campuses Creating Submissive Generation in Full Support of Endless Mask & Vaccine Mandates Even though I was managing in school, our fight was far from over. During the first Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) hearing, lawyers for St. John’s University lied when they claimed that our religious testimonies were copied off a website. Fortunately, the judge never came to a verdict and was soon dropped from the case. Between that first hearing and the second, every unvaccinated student that did not have an exemption was withdrawn from all in-person classes. This left me with one online management class. I lost my scholarship, and university policies only allowed me to be refunded 20% of my tuition for the classes from which I was removed. In other words, the university took my money, kicked me out, and refused to give me a full refund. I reached out to all my professors in the hopes they would allow me to continue taking their classes. Two of them ignored my email because the staff was instructed to not respond. Another one stated school policy prohibited them from helping. My marketing professor did everything he could to help, but I ultimately decided to transfer out of the university for the next semester. As this fight slowly comes to an end, I’ve had plenty of time to think about the events that occurred. Nobody in America should ever have to go through what my friends and I went through. St. John’s University treated its students horribly, offering no option to go online, and tried to make it impossible for us to keep up with our classes. I have no doubt in my mind that St. John’s University should stop calling itself a Catholic university because true Catholics would never have acted this way. I’m putting my faith in God, and I know I’ll succeed with him leading me. I know this is His plan, and my journey has only just begun. In the end, I will win this fight. If you don’t stand up for your rights, no one will.