MUN President Vianne Timmons.

Memorial University student Ryan Guay’s social media post regarding the university’s decision to deregister him from courses due to not being fully vaccinated despite having a medical exemption due to his injury from taking one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine has sparked outrage among the public.

Lindsay Gulliver says, “The physical & mental turmoil that this young man has been put through in a short amount of time is heartbreaking.”

Emily Halfyard states, “As someone who’s also had pulmonary embolisms, I know that a health crisis as serious as that can be really scary and nerve-racking and exhausting, putting the stress of not being able to go to school on top of that is something nobody should have to worry about, Ryan Guay you deserve to not have to worry about getting your education!”

Alyx King states, “MUN is actively discriminating against the vaccine injured, the unvaccinated, and against people who simply do not want to disclose their medical information. Ostracizing them off-campus while making them still pay the same tuition as students that get access to campus and everything that comes along with it, such as the library, peers, in-class instruction, and faculty events, to name a few. Forcing them to pay the same amount for a lesser education. Forcing professors to teach both in class and by distance at the same time without proper equipment to do so.”

Furthermore, King states, “Memorial University of Newfoundland, you should be completely ashamed of yourselves. You are NOT the image you portray. You are banning students off-campus quite regularly now; I see… from the vaccine-injured like Ryan to Matt Barter for simply exercising his right to protest the awful presidency of Vianne Timmons and MANY others in between. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. This is discrimination. This is wrong. This is unacceptable. Since when has equality and someone’s right to education been so easily dismissed? Especially over a shot that has potential to cause such harm.”

Penny Sampson says, “Okay, this guy gets the COVID Vaccine and suffers multiple pulmonary embolisms in his lungs, so blood clots in the lungs, then is pretty much getting kicked out of University in NFLD?!? Who treats someone who’s been thru that like a leper? Stay out of class or face the consequences???? Not cool.”

Heather Charlie Poisson states, “Memorial University of NL needs to be held to account. This is happening everywhere, but unless we stand up and speak out, nothing will change. Wrongs need to be righted. Justice needs to be upheld. And truth needs to be louder than lies. Stop the insanity. Stop the discrimination. This may not affect you right now, but it’s freedoms in general that are at stake! Don’t be passive until it’s on your own doorstep. By then, it will be too late!”

Jeannette Murrin states, “This young man needs our support. Ryan suffered a life-altering injury after getting the first covid vaccine so that he could attend Memorial University. Now, the university and our government have turned their backs on him. This is not right, and we must let government and MUN know that as Newfoundlanders, we will not stand for it.”

Brent Cooper says, “This is outright bullying and discrimination, and the people who are responsible for this should be fired and fined for their ‘crimes on humanity!’”

Maggie McCarthy states, “As someone who has heard and been witness to just a fraction of what Ryan Guay has been through this past year, for this to be added on top of everything is unbelievable! I assure you that what he is saying is true and that it is as horrible as it sounds for someone to go through. No one deserves to be treated this way!!!”

Steve Whelan says, “Wow. This is what we’ve become? Absolutely disgusting on every level. This young man is doing everything right, and MUN is closing doors on him!”

Tricia Lowry states, “So now they can take away your right to a education even with a medical exemption. No shot, no education! What is happening???”

Emily Wells says, “Education shouldn’t be inaccessible for anyone, no matter the circumstances!”

Cody Guay states, “He [Ryan] deserves everything in life. He’s a very composed young man, so for him to have the confidence to share his story publicly takes a lot of courage. Every single day I see him sitting in his room. It’s the most depressing thing to witness. His life and foreseeable future is crumbling apart by the hour. I can only imagine the physical yet mental strain he’s going through being left helpless. As his older brother, it’s my right to stand up for him and to help in every aspect possible, as he’s been there by my side through my troubles.”

Marguerite Smith states, “This is so wrong in so many ways! Vaccines don’t stop the spread of the virus, as we now know. It only helps, maybe, prevent severe disease. Why enforce something on someone who clearly can’t tolerate it and has a medical exemption. All of this is just power-hungry people/organizations trying to interfere in the lives of others. I would not stop your rants; keep them until people start to smarten up. No, I am not an anti-vaxer, I have my shots, but I believe the freedom of young people to pursue their dreams is even more important! Hold fast, Ryan, and all the best with your fight!”

Deneille Oreilly says, “This is a co-worker and friend of mine that, through my time knowing him, is a very hard-working guy and talks highly of his education and career plans! He deserves more than this.”

Jen Haas states, “Unbelievable!! This is sad, deplorable & simply wrong on so many levels!! What is the matter with this ‘free’ country??”

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.


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