Mandate protest takes up space at UNLV

Protesters occupy a corner of the Free Speech Zone of UNLV. Photo by Jimmy Romo.

   Protesters at UNLV’s free speech area held their signs in protest to the student and faculty vaccine mandates imposed on Nevadans in education. 

   “Fight possible tyranny through socialism and communism,” said Alexander Nelson, veteran and local, was in attendance of the protest. ”Not that we’re there yet but, this is the first step, okay. And overall I think nobody’s negating the facts of COVID or the severity of it but we’re fighting against a mandate that would create a division between individual soul liberty.” 

   He said that he’s not there to throw facts at facts or argue science. He mainly wanted to express that if the public doesn’t have individual liberties to make decisions for themselves and accept consequences for our own decisions then the public is allowing the state to take control over our lives. 

   “When I first got the shot, my heart palpitations came back from when I was younger,” said Patrick Woodruff, a fully vaccinated UNLV groundsman. “I wake up aching. Every day I wake up every day, even more tired than I used to. But yeah, I honestly think that it should be everybody’s choice,” 

   Woodruff has had to comply with the Nevada System of Higher Education mandate for all employees to be fully vaccinated. He believes that the COVID-19 vaccine impacted his health in a negative way rather than a positive way. 

   “When I got it, it was before the reports of like the enlarged heart and everything,” Woodruff said, “So my decision was misinformed. If I didn’t know what I knew now I probably would not have gotten it.” 

   For Woodruff, he said he’s delved into a ton of articles, mostly stuff sent to him from the group that is against the vaccine, but he’s done some of his own research on alternative medicine and a transfusion of antibodies. 

   “Mandates in general, particularly for medical are unconstitutional. I told people that I don’t think that institutions have the authority to do that.” said Richard Gomez, a veteran. “That should be challenged legally and as well as the federal government for misrepresenting the vaccine.” 

   Gomez wants those that are facing termination to get the threat on paper and get a lawyer to defend them 

   When asked about the medical and religious exemptions, Gomez at first seemed to agree with the exemptions, but later switched perspectives because of the principle of the mandate. 

   The Patriot Providers United was at the table to speak about how spending money on companies that don’t support the mandates helped the movement. 

   Sean Colett, a CSN film professor and protester, will not be getting vaccinated which leaves him for future termination on Dec. 1. 

   “I mean I have a master’s in film studies and I’m sure I can find something but it won’t be here,” Colett said. “This is crazy. It’s absolutely insane. I still don’t understand it.”

   His daughter who attends CSN is not going to receive the vaccine and will be forced to leave Nevada to pursue her studies elsewhere, like her father where he’ll search for employment. 


  1. These people are mistaken, for their “right” to refuse the vaccine ends when they infect others. For many decades, this country has mandated all types of vaccines that have protected us against many deadly viruses and bacteria.
    I applaud our Alma Mater for instituting this policy.


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