You’ve won the lottery! But wait, don’t go buy that Lamborghini yet. You’ve been randomly selected to give a sample of your bodily fluids to a state and federally funded entity.
Where is this happening you may ask? A place where apparently your First Amendment is valued more than your Fourth Amendment, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
It’s one thing for an institution to impose social distancing guidelines and require a mask for a perceived measure of safety. But recently, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has gone a step further. Reportedly, UTC is sending out random emails coercing students and faculty to give a sample for rapid Covid-19 testing.
Attorney Terry Olsen stated, “the university reserves the right to conduct the tests, saying that students and faculty signed over their medical records as an agreement for attending or working at the school.” (https://wdef.com/2021/02/12/utc-begins-randomized-rapid-testing-students-faculty/).
In response a fellow alumni stated, “Just because I have drinks with a man, doesn’t mean I give him consent to rape me. Just because I give the university my health records doesn’t mean you get bodily fluid samples whenever you want them.”
As an alumni, it’s appalling to see that individuals are being coerced to comply with the seizure of their bodily fluids in order to attend a state and federally funded university. What are the consequences if you don’t comply as a student or staff member? Students, faculty, parents, and alumni should question this policy further. Obviously the need for mask requirements and social distancing guidelines are needed during our current pandemic. However, I’m certain the degradation of our constitutional rights will not deter any virus from spreading.
_ Jeff Irvin Jr., UTC Alumni Class of 2008