Christian university imposes random COVID temp checks, threatens suspension
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian university has mandated that for students to attend its school, they must sign an open-ended “Community Covenant for COVID-19,” which includes the possibility of mandatory coronavirus vaccines, and compliance with testing, potential quarantine measures.
Dordt University is a Christian college located in Sioux Center, Iowa. The school’s “Community Covenant for COVID-19” agreement also requires students to submit to random temperature checks. If a student passes, he will receive a hand stamp.
The school says the extra COVID-19 measures are to broaden “the definition of what it means to be pro-life,” according to an August 21 report from the Iowa Standard, which had access to the school's covenant document.
“We will be remembered more for how we treated one another during this trying time than we will for who was right or wrong about the precautions that we were all asked to enact for the sake of others and for ourselves,” reads the Community Covenant for COVID-19 document.
A page on the university website mentions the covenant but does not provide in-depth detail as to its contents.
The Iowa Standard report also mentions an email sent to students before the start of the school year, which told students they are forbidden to attend their local church in person until September 13.
“From now until Sunday, Sept. 13, students are asked to only virtually attend local churches. We’ll continue to collaborate with local church leaders regarding in-person attendance from Sept. 13 and beyond, but like so many other things in life right now, our situation could change,” says the email.
The email also says that to attend classes, students have to sign the document.
“Students, you are required to review and sign the COVID-19 Community Covenant before the first day of class on Tuesday, Aug. 25. You will not be allowed to attend classes without completing this form,” says the email.
LifeSiteNews reached out to Dordt University to ask for a copy of the Community Covenant for COVID-19 document, as well as to clarify how a Christian college would “ban” students from attending their local church in person.
As of press time, there has been no reply.
The Dordt coronavirus covenant also mentions that students may be “required” to have both the flu vaccine and a potential coronavirus vaccine should one become available, although there may be “limited” exemptions.
“I understand that for public health reasons, Dordt may require me to have an influenza vaccination this year (limited exemptions may be available for individuals with specific religious or health reasons). I also understand that, should an effective vaccine for COVID-19 be developed which could significantly reduce the impact of this disease on our community, Dordt may require me to be vaccinated,” reads one of the statements students must agree to from the covenant.
“I will follow the guidelines of Dordt’s leadership regarding COVID-19 mitigation, even if they have to change mid-year,” reads another.
LifeSiteNews also reached out to Dordt University to ask them about mandating vaccines for students, but as of press time did not get a reply.
A concerned parent of a student said that the school is overstepping its “boundaries” with the covenant.
“In my opinion, the university has blatantly overstepped its boundaries and seeks to bind students’ consciences by potentially forcing them to disobey their elders by complying with this document,” a Dordt parent was quoted as saying in the Iowa Standard report.
The Iowa Standard also lists other requirements students must agree to in the covenant.
“While acknowledging that these rules and precautions may or may not be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, I agree to comply with such rules and precautions and any modifications or amendments to them. I understand that failure to do so is a violation of Dordt’s Student Code of Conduct and that failing to comply could subject me to disciplinary sanctions, including, but not limited to, probation, suspension, dismissal and being denied further entry onto Dordt’s campus,” reads a statement students must agree to.
The email sent to students also included certain health measures students would have to agree to, such as washing one’s mask “perhaps as often as you wash your underwear.”
The email also mentions that students would have to complete a daily health assessment online “every 24 hours” until at least September 30.
A video posted on Dordt’s YouTube page goes over health measures students are expected to comply with, including the random temperature checks, a mask made of at least “two layers,” and gloves in computer labs.
Virtually all universities across the United States, as well as in Canada, have implemented strict back-to-school COVID-19 measures.
Examples include a recent San Diego Tribune report that highlights how San Diego State University hired private security to be on the lookout for students who violate school coronavirus policies such as mandatory masks and social distancing.
Indiana State University has threatened students with suspension if they do not comply with the school's COVID-19 rules.