Bill would require SUNY & CUNY schools to reimburse students disenrolled over vax mandate

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — One New York lawmaker is proposing a bill to reimburse State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) students who missed out on their studies due to the university systems’ vaccine mandates.

Back in August, SUNY and CUNY announced all students must have proof of vaccination to remain enrolled.

Students were given 35 days to comply or submit an exemption request.

Sen. George Borrello (R, 57) sponsored legislation that would amend state education law to allow for students who were disenrolled over the policy to be reimbursed for any cost of enrollment, for any term they were disenrolled from.

Borello said the mandate forced out more than 1,500 students, many of whom had applied for medical or religious exemptions. He called the university system’s decision to keep those students’ money "unconscionable". He also said other universities that announced vaccine mandates either announced it earlier than SUNY and CUNY did, or gave students more time to comply.

He represents eight towns in Livingston County, as well as areas of Western New York.

The bill is currently in the State Senate’s Higher Education Committee.