The State University of New Jersey is destroying its credibility heading into the 2023 academic year, according to a Republican state senator.

Rutgers University has dropped 22 students (out of more than 59,700) from classes for their failure to comply with the institution's COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

In an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5, Rutgers said it continues to work with students to achieve 100% compliance. But Sen. Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, continues to try to convince Rutgers leaders to scrap the vaccine mandate entirely.

"End the policy and stop digging the hole deeper, defending what everybody knows is a ludicrous policy," O'Scanlon told New Jersey 101.5.

O'Scanlon said Rutgers has potentially devastated the education plans of the 22 students it has disenrolled.

"Luckily, 99% of other schools in the country realize this policy is idiotic," he said. "Hopefully some of them take pity on these victimized Rutgers outcasts and give them a place to land."

O'Scanlon said Rutgers' "absolute garbage" policy sends the wrong message "about the intelligence of people running Rutgers."

Sen. Declan O'Scanlon (Townsquare Media NJ)
Sen. Declan O'Scanlon (Townsquare Media NJ)
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"If these people are inept, then maybe it's time for new leadership," O'Scanlon said.

In an Aug. 24 press release, O'Scanlon called for the university president and leadership cabinet to resign.

In March 2021, Rutgers became the first university in the nation to require the COVID-19 vaccination for students. Exemptions related to religious beliefs and medical issues were permitted then, and still are.

According to the group No College Mandates, Rutgers is one of fewer than 100 four-year colleges nationwide that still have the mandate in place.

Montclair State University also has its COVID-19 vaccination requirement running for the upcoming academic year, for on-campus students.

According to O'Scanlon, no college that receives state funding should be forcing students to be administered a vaccine that doesn't fully stop them from contracting and passing along the disease it's meant to attack.

The state Department of Health promotes vaccination as the leading prevention strategy to protect residents from COVID-19.

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