All I wanted to do at the University of Chicago was get a top-notch education and play the game I love: football. But because I am unvaccinated for COVID (having already had the virus and tested positive for natural T-cell immunity), the university administration has badgered me, discriminated against me, and even spied on me.
UChicago’s COVID policies continue to ignore facts and defy science. What I have endured at the hands of the administration is thoroughly contrary to data, reason, and ethics.
As a student athlete, I had to spend most of August and September at the 2021 preseason football camp on campus. When I showed up for preseason camp on the morning of August 11, I was informed that the University had decided that unvaccinated players must sit in solitary quarantine for a week—meaning that we could not practice or go out or do anything at all.
I had shown up in the middle of August to get in shape for football, not to sit inside a room alone for a week. But the other unvaccinated players and I had no choice, so we obeyed, isolating ourselves indoors while the vaccinated players went to regular preseason practice. After a week in quarantine, I foolishly thought I would now be able to freely participate as a student-athlete at the University of Chicago. How wrong I was.
University Officials Surveilled Me Because I Am Unvaccinated
I was looking forward to living with my friend and fellow football teammate in our assigned double room, for which we had applied and had been granted last spring. But the housing office told me that, because I am unvaccinated, I had to move into a single room.
Rather than argue, I simply stayed across the hall in the double room I had already moved into with my friend, procrastinating on moving my things into my newly assigned single. One morning a week or two thereafter, I was awakened by three exceedingly officious university housing officials pounding on my dorm door, screaming my name. (A friend who happened to be out in the hallway as they approached heard them say, gleefully and menacingly, “We’re gonna get that unvaxxed kid!”) I groggily opened the door and each of the three berated me in turn for sleeping in an “unauthorized bed.”
As shocking as the door-banging and yelling were, the underlying reality was yet more disturbing: the university had clearly been spying on me. It made me feel a bit uneasy that UChicago was monitoring and judging where I slept, but I was pretty busy playing football, so I tried to shrug it off. I apologized to the bureaucrats and said I would sleep in my mandated bed.
The University Rescinded My Approved Vaccine Exemption
When UChicago mandated the COVID vaccine for all students last May, it allowed students to file for either a medical or religious exemption. I believed that I qualified for both of these and elected to speak with my doctor (a cardiologist) and file for a medical exemption in June 2021.
One month later, in July, my exemption was “verified” by UChicago Medicine in the Student Wellness Portal, placing me in compliance with the university’s vaccine mandate. From July through October, I assumed that I could rely upon my approved exemption for the entire duration of my time at the university.
But, suddenly, on October 26, in the middle of midterm exams, with no prior notice that my “verified” medical exemption was somehow deficient, I received the following email from no identifiable human but signed “UChicago Student Wellness”:
This anonymous threat from Student “Wellness,” arriving in the middle of midterm exams (for which I was studying even more intensely than normal, because, during football season, predawn practices take their toll), actually made me feel quite unwell.
Can an anonymous email really announce that my student ID has been deactivated, that I am barred from my dorm, cannot eat at the dining hall, cannot enter campus buildings, have no access to university Wi-Fi, and cannot register for winter classes?
How am I “not in compliance with the University’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement,” when the university already approved my exemption?
I have natural immunity. I have a recent test showing I have T-cell immunity. Since my bout with COVID, I have been COVID-free, unlike many of my vaccinated friends.
I called my parents and told them they might need to get me a hotel room because Student “Wellness” said I would be locked out of my dorm. And I replied simply to the emailed threat:
Presumably because my parents and I objected to this anonymously threatened shutdown of my life at the university and pressed for further information, my student ID remained functional and I was able to register for winter classes. Yet the reason for this threat, and the individuals behind it, were never revealed.
As I again tried to push the anonymous and authoritarian threats from my mind to focus on midterms, I could not help but wonder how other students might cope with this heavy-handedness, if their parents weren’t in a position to write emails and arrange hotel rooms. I had to call on all my resources to make sure I had food, shelter, and Wi-Fi so that I could focus on my academic requirements.
Then, on November 29, the week before final exams, I received an email from Richard McDonough, the senior medical director of UChicago Student Wellness:
Although this email was signed by a human being—an M.D., no less—McDonough assumed no responsibility for the inaccurate and inexplicable declaration about my vaccination status. I thought: I’ve already been granted a medical exemption. There is no pending “request.” Who are these nameless “experts” making decisions about my health?
I raised these and other questions in my reply to McDonough:
Two weeks later, on December 13, McDonough responded, but refused to answer any of my questions:
Not only did he refuse to answer any of my questions or name those who revoked my medical exemption, McDonough now characterized my accepted medical exemption as “temporary.”
My vaccine exemption was never characterized as “temporary” before, but the university now purports to revoke it based on views of anonymous “experts” who have never examined me and whose data and reasoning have never been provided.
Again seeking answers—or at least a rational discussion—I emailed back:
Three weeks later, McDonough responded to my latest email:
Still no answers to my questions. The university is really, truly trying to rescind an approved medical exemption that it never formally labeled as “temporary.” McDonough again failed to provide any studies or data that form the “consensus” that my own doctor is wrong. Nor did he name any of these UChicago “experts” who seem hell-bent on injecting me with a substance that my personal doctor strongly advises against, that I do not want, that I do not need, and that does not affect any other person I may encounter.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I promptly emailed McDonough:
As of the publication of this article, the university stands by its threat to revoke my student status on January 31.
The Great and Powerful Oz Has Spoken
My COVID vaccine encounter with the university reminds me of the climactic scene from the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her friends fulfill the requirement imposed upon them by the Wizard, delivering the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. But after they uphold their end of the bargain, the projected face of the Wizard inexplicably refuses to grant their requests.
Like Dorothy, one wonders about the university: “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises.” When a student provides everything demanded to satisfy a vaccine exemption, and the exemption is granted, but then the projected face of the Wizard says the exemption is no good, one wonders who and what is behind that projected face.
Who are these anonymous medical experts behind the curtain? If they are “well-acquainted with the medical literature,” why don’t they identify themselves, show their data and studies, and provide their reasoning?
UChicago, like the Wizard, ironically does not respond well to critical thinking and questions. It merely bellows, “Do you presume to criticize the Great Oz?” (At least the Wizard of Oz did not hold himself out as a great academic institution devoted to intellectual freedom, rigorous inquiry, and humanity.)
The message here is the same: “The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
It’s high time for the man to come out from behind the curtain, and for transparency, reason, and basic human decency to prevail.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
I am very sorry these evil people put you through so much unnecessary hardship. We are living biblical prophetic times and it is clear the wheat is getting separated from the chaff. Find a place aligned with truth, dignity and liberty. Do not give your time, talent and heart to useful idiots of indoctrination camps. Tough times are coming but the story is already written and the good guys win in the end!
No lies told. 7am raid into your room in preseason from people we have never spoken with before was unheard of.
This article touched me more than anything I have read in a while. My daughter is at another prestigious school that I think would react exactly like this. I am so appreciative of this young man for speaking up as many of these students are too afraid to do so. Who could blame them when you see how they are treated? I don’t think anything will change until more students stand up and demand real data and reasons for the draconian measures these schools are still enforcing and the bullying, discriminatory behavior they are exhibiting towards the unvaccinated.
Wow! What an unbelievable story. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Your courage to write this piece speaks volumes about your character. Stay strong!
Hmmm… well, I know that the vaccine manufacturers hold themselves inviolable from lawsuits due to injuries. But surely a university using deceit, threats, and coercion to force you to vaccinate can and should be held legally responsible in the event of injury. Why not have an attorney draft a letter notifying the university of their liability should you suffer injury through their coerced vaccinations? For that matter, there are a lot of people who would likely prefer to make universities, and workplaces liable for coerced vaccinations gone awry. Maybe if they are held responsible for the outcomes, their high-handedness with OUR health would be humbled.
Makes me feel really appreciative to be at a school where vaccination is optional. Sounds like an awful time with delusional people. Wish University staff spent more time focusing on other more important topics, considering you’re nowhere in the wrong
Arthur, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m deeply moved. This is going on around the country at many universities. My own son has suffered in a similar fashion at his uni. My three nieces and 2 nephews are being similarly persecuted (with two of them also having previously accepted medical exemptions revoked due to “new evidence”). I personally know 8 young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 who have been vaccine injured by these covid shots (3 cases of myocarditis among the injured and 1 case of stroke 2 days after a 2nd Pfizer jab as well as some odd neurological conditions). Thank you again for putting this into words. You are not alone. There are many of us fighting this from multiple angles and I appreciate you getting your story out so others can know what is going on! Keep up the good fight, stay strong and know that you are on the right side of this! Do whatever you need to survive this and stay unvaccinated!
All this effort focused on a student with natural immunity, over a virus with upwards of 99.8% survivability, meanwhile students and community members get shot on a weekly basis. Seems like if the University really wanted to preserve life and student wellness, they’d be intent on addressing crime
Arthur, this is Tom ,Will’s stepfather.
You are one of many targets by the COMMUNIST who have taken over every administrative branch of our government, local ,national and our institutions of academia.
The Fifth Estate.
My own son is a 5 year martial arts black belt
and he got vaccinated . He now has myocardial fraction. The doctor has been treating him and says it is due to the vaccine.
Just so you understand my ex is woke and never discussed this prior to him entering his freshman year. I found out in a zoom BS, family court hearing.
Keep Up the fight,screw them see you on the lake.
Great Article of Testimony to the behavior of the
BOLCHIVICS. Contact Veritas.
a myocardial fraction. rare indeed! Were you suggesting his black belt would protect him from covid? I hope this is bot post
Thank you for sharing with the world! I hope more brave young men and women do so. Good luck and Godspeed!
The administration is wrong on every level. Keep fighting. Hire a good lawyer who is willing to take on the Chicago Mob. Sue the school, and sue the people responsible personally. Do discovery. Demand every email, text message, etc. from every person involved. Then, (and this is a terrible result, but inevitable) make them kick you out. Refuse to leave and make them drag you out and video tape it. And then GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. In Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin NONE of this crap goes on. You’re just a a commie school. Play football somewhere else – you will still be happy. And a UofC degree these days only certifies that you’re a woke snowflake anyway.
I welcome hearing more from the U C than threats of career trashing and fear. Keep up the struggle.
U of C put forth consequences as a result of you violating policies intended for student safety and gave you a scientific explanation for why they require vaccinations. A week-long quarantine and isolation in a single are appropriate protocols. If you are interested in additional studies, you can find many published articles on the vaccine, and why immunity from last year provides insufficient protection. The best way to return to living normally would be to do your part in helping to end to the pandemic. With the exception of immunocompromised individuals, vaccination is not an issue of individual opinion but an issue of public health; your decision has consequences: people dying. If you are insistent on not getting vaccinated, then there are other institutions you can attend that do not uphold public health as a core value. If you choose to attend this institution, realize that they will prioritize public wellbeing over individual opinions.
Excuse me, Anya, “your decision has consequences: people dying” … prove it. Where are your facts to back up your ridiculous statement here? and “realize that they will prioritize public wellbeing over individual opinions.” You can eat your own words here with your ‘individual opinion’ on this topic. You too can go somewhere else, like Communist Russia or China and live where they prioritize uniform, socialized medicine for the masses over individual choice in healthcare. Let me know how it goes.
Anya:I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you back in 2020. At this point, lots of new data have emerged.Studies prove, & even the CDC has admitted, that the C19 vax does not stop the spread nor prevent from catching the virus.Research data from the UK, Isreal, Japan, &India. If you are fully vaxxed, you should feel safe knowing that if you get C19 your symptoms will be mild. Im vaxxed too.Good for you &me!With all that said, Unfortunately,Arthur has a predisposition to the vax & attained a medical exemption from a cardiologist that was initially accepted by U of C.He is not protesting against the C19 vax for you or others.He is simply asking exemption for himself.He is putting himself at risk for myocarditis or pericarditis which is very serious & is common in young males that are fully vaxxed. Pls review c19vaxreactions dot com & open vaers dot com. I do agree that he should leave to find a community that will accept his medical exemption & not vilify him for his medical concerns.
Nice answer, but just like the university admin, no actual peer-reviewed articles or hard facts are presented to back up your statements. At professional meetings, we call this “hand waiving,” which is summarily dismissed (or worse, ridiculed). These policies are primarily based on group-think emotion and fear and only secondarily on science that… science that is still clearly contested among medical “experts” and the broader scientific community. Soon the university will be pushing to micro-inject sperm and egg cells with the vax for those students who wish to get pregnant. I’m being facetious, of course, but you get my point. They have summarily dismissed long-held tenets of immunology to push experimental treatments.
How absolutely disgusting of UChicago. They should be ashamed of their ignorance towards a medical exemption and a lack of effective communication with students.
Administration is beyond fail-safe return w/ campus biosecurity policy; they cannot reverse course, and still assume liability protection from the corporate syndicate; they will seek to avoid the appearance of escape panic, as they are otherwise merely corporate actors whose decision rights have been purchased–and it is a buyer’s market. Administration otherwise has no authority to make any such demands, but by obedience and compliance; they possess no actual legal authority, or legitimacy. UC’s provost, chancellor, president, BSD head, deans and Board, are “all in” and will immediately and fully, follow all biosecurity escalation plans, in order to “fall forward” from legal liability. Moreover, combined with an election year, asserted policy will get worse; more radical, and more desperate. ’96, Booth MBA
Your beef seems to be more with the UC process and correspondence than the science around vaccines. That’s fair. However, your article reads somewhat like you’re protesting a vaccine mandate that is a result of good science. The facts are as follows: 1. Vaccines are far more effective when it comes to serious disease than natural immunity. 2. The vaccine science has been around for more than 30 years. 3. You’re not only protecting yourself, but you’re also protecting those around you. Internet sages like Rogan perpetuate fear and misinformation and reveal that they have not seriously studied the facts — or that they are exploiting the moment. Please don’t put yourself in this camp. Again, if the UC process is what’s at issue, you have an argument. But, IMO, it’s wise to avoid pushing the public away from helping themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated. Call me any time. (Your AF football friend’s dad)
Statements made in your comment are false.
1. Peer-reviewed studies show the opposite. Recovering from Covid-19 provides more robust immunity against reinfection since the immune system develops a response to all five proteins of the virus, not just spike protein.
2. mRNA vaccine TECHNOLOGY was described in the late 1980s. There has NEVER been an approved mRNA vaccine. The two mRNA vaccines being pushed are the ones causing heart inflammation. J&J vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine similar to a few previous vaccines. TRADITIONAL vaccine technology would be a weakened whole virus vaccine (e.g. Sinovac) or protein subunit vaccine (e.g. Novavax), which have been approved in some countries.
3. The studies show that if a person is reinfected after having Covid-19, they will be less likely to transmit it to others than those that are vaccinate, who can be infected without significant symptoms. Start reading PubMed and other journal sites, not watching the morons on CNN and MSNBC.
i know JUST what you mean
i suffer from a rare medical condition called “micropenis”
NONE of the uchicago admin will BANG me
the COMMUNIST overlords marxist bill gates postmodern sexy intelligentsia will give my lil guy some love
need me a freddy freakbear. a woman who will turn my springtrap into a purple guy, if you catch my drift
Anya, do your research. The vaccinated are the super spreaders, why do you think you all got covid after the booster? The vaccinated are sick bc your immune systems are decimated more w every shot. Why would you take a shot w undisclosed ingredients that does not even prevent transmission? How the heck is an unvaccinated person more likely to transmit the virus? They’re not! Wake tf up before it’s too late. Please!
What I find so incredulous about all of this stated reasoning that covid 19 induced myo is more likely than vaccine induced myo (not true btw) is that they fail to address the simple fact that after being infected with covid 19 you are then taking on more risk of vaccine induced myo on top of covid 19 induced myo. The fact that doctors at UChicago don’t consider this is scary to say the least. It’s obvious, you would have another risk on top of the one you already had!
Said another way – Regardless of whether covid 19 induced myo is more prevalent (highly debatable and not at all settled) you’re still taking on MORE myo risk by then taking the vaccine as well or vice versa since it’s been said all will get covid and vaccine doesn’t stop transmission! So what are the odds of myo after vaccine + infection? 2x, 10x, 100x ? They have no idea but are promoting more risk by falsely relying on an explanation that vaccine ONLY myo risk is less than Covid only myo ride! Those two things are not mutually exclusive!!!!!!
Thank you for writing this. I have child that graduated from UC. I have learned more about the university from The Chicago Thinker than I ever did while visiting over the 4 years. Unbelievable that this is still considered a top institution of free thinking and critical thought – looks to me like any other university that requires only one way of thinking. What a disappointment, although I am not surprised. God Bless, keep and guide you. Keep speaking the truth and keep asking the questions they don’t want to answer!
I commend the students who are pushing back on the mandates. Is there a point that you decide you will leave the University? There are schools not requiring the booster. https://universitybusiness.com/state-by-state-look-at-colleges-requiring-vaccines/ (MIT, Vanderbilt) You are being pushed into 2 options, get an exemption or get boosted. At least one student has already had his medical exemption rescinded. To coerce the students into a booster in light of the triple boosted getting Covid is unfounded, nonsensical. And for some, there have been adverse events associated with the vaccine and the long term risks are unknown. Since we are all in the global clinical trial now and we will know more in 5-10 years. Names like Pritzker, Gates and Fauci are associated with the University…. I don’t know, you can draw your own conclusions.
Dear Arthur, I am very impressed with your strength, bravery and determination to keep pushing forward and not letting them intimidate you. I admire you. My high school child, also an athlete, has a predisposition to adverse reactions to the C19 shot. We are proactively visiting universities for my child to attend that do not mandate shots on their students, faculty & staff. Thank you for making your discrimination public. I hope your questions are properly addressed and that you are able to soon focus on your studies without these unnecessary threats. I wish you the best and please keep us updated. You are not alone. Lots of people support you! – Ann Anderson
To Dr. Donough: I understand that the pandemic has been stressful for all of us. You are probably being placed in a difficult position. However, Mr. Long deserves his questions properly addressed and that you and your team can provide sources to back up your arguments. At this point in the pandemic, there is enough data to support that the C19 vax you are mandating does not stop the spread nor does it prevent the disease. I urge you and your leadership team to take a look at the open VAERS website and click on “myo/pericarditis” to see the adverse reaction results post C19 vax. These results are astonishing. How can you honestly revoke his valid medical exception with a clear conscience? How can you or anybody on your team seriously mandate a medical procedure that can harm an individual? Has all common sense and science facts regarding natural immunity flown out the window at UChicago? I am shocked. Please do the right thing. -Ann Anderson
Keep fighting oppression, corruption, and stupidity. This idea that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated is ridiculous. If possible, which vaccines for everyone on earth isn’t possible or realistic. Even if it was, Covid lives in animals so every living mammal would have to be vaccinated all in a short period of time.
So is there nefarious intentions or what is motivating this insanity?
There might be a logical and ethical reasoning but it’s just not true.
Studies (of 370,264 deaths between Jan 2021 and Oct 2021) by British researchers released in Dec. 2021 show the risk of post-vaccine myocarditis is concentrated in men aged 16-25. The risk of myocarditis is almost doubled after the Pfizer shot #1 in men under 40. The risk doubled again after the second and doubled again after the third – to almost eight times the baseline risk.
For the Moderna vaccine, the risks were even higher, reaching 16-fold after the second shot.
Each Moderna shot contains 100 mcg of mRNA, while each Pfizer shot contains 30, findings suggest strongly that heart risks are dose-related.
~263 Britons were hospitalized for myocarditis within 4 weeks of a Pfizer shot; of those, 38, or 14%, died vs. ~9% of people hospitalized for myocarditis without prior mRNA vaccination died.
Stand strong, don’t let these tyrants intimidate you. I agree with one of the comments which I’ve read, it’s time to have legal counsel to represent you. Take this game which they want to play to the next level. This action will not only protect your rights, but rights of others. IMO, the fortitude that you’re showing now is a great life lesson, you’ll only become a stronger person in the long run. I honestly see you being very successful in your career path, best of luck to you.
Lol have fun getting kicked out on Monday
………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ……….
Thanks for the read, really engaging piece you got there.
Thank you for this article and your well- reasoned responses to the University doctor. Having experience is such matters, you best course of action is to RIGHT NOW have your parents find a lawyer who will write a letter to the Univeristy doctor with copies to your college’s administrators responsible for this policy and the admissions director. The letter would simply re-state your case and ask for the items you requested, and making the clear case for possible litigation (you have an enforceable contract with the University). A letter from an attorney puts the fear of God into most silly people. Just a letter. It may get you time until the end of the term. And right now time is on your side as more evidence comes out about the vaccine side effects on the goverment VAERS system.
Stop spreading lies. The university handled this extremely respectfully and you were not compliant. Are you a doctor? No you are not. So stop arguing with someone who has had years of medical training and actually understands why you are not exempt. Just get the vaccine! It is not about you. It is about helping the community and keeping our neighbors safe. Just have some empathy for once in your life. I am so incredibly sad that I have to attend university amongst students as ignorant and egotistic as you. They clearly explained that your exemption was temporary. If you were still exempt, maybe provide another doctor’s note? Oh wait! It’s because you can get the vaccine and are choosing not to get it. Please think about others and the greater community.
Perhaps you should actually read what he wrote. He is relying on HIS OWN DOCTOR’S OPINION, regarding the risk of heart inflammation and other side effects – huge numbers on this have been reported to the VAERS system (know what that is?). And no, they did NOT issue a temporary exemption to him. It is you who don’t understand the actual science. The medical studies from peer-reviewed journals, show with no doubt that those who are vaccinated can still be infected without symptoms and spread it to others. Those who are UNVACCINATED and have recovered from Covid have LESS viral load if they become reinfected. Start reading PubMed journal articles and stop watching the morons on CNN and MSNBC. Just today, those idots were proved wrong by a massive study showing that ivermectin works in early Covid treatment.
Good day! This post could not be written any better!
Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.
Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank
you for sharing!