University of Minnesota, Stop Lobbying Congress for Corporate Immunity
University of Minnesota
Sign our petition to tell the University of Minnesota to stop lobbying Congress for corporate immunity! Students should not be required to waive liability when we return to campus.
University of Minnesota
From: [Your Name]
We demand that the University of Minnesota oppose and stop lobbying Congress for corporate immunity and not require students to waive liability when we return to campus.
UMN is a member of the American Council on Education, an industry group which is lobbying Congress to demand that big employers, like universities, get immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits when they re-open.
Allowing colleges to re-open with immunity would give them a free pass to ignore student and employee health.  We would be stripped of our ability to hold our schools accountable. Corporate immunity would give colleges fewer incentives to incorporate even the most basic safety precautions, especially for Black and Brown campus workers who are already at a disproportionate risk. Black Minnesotans are 3.5 times more likely to be affected by the virus than white Minnesotans.  In addition, flouting basic safety precautions and CDC guidelines will only result in more COVID-19 cases and an inevitable return to online learning.
Blanket corporate immunity could shield universities and other employers if they:
• Unreasonably fail to provide students and campus workers with PPE.
• Fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that students can socially distance in classrooms and dorms.
• Are aware that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, and the school unreasonably fails to trace and test other campus community members that the student has come into contact with.
• Fail to take reasonable steps to prevent students who are sick from coming to class.
• Unreasonably ignore clear guidance from state or federal public health officials.
Supporters of immunity see it as a necessary step to shield schools and businesses as they begin to re-open. However, state tort law only requires reasonable measures be taken to keep students and workers safe. To sue, a victim would also have to show the school caused the exposure. In other words, it is already hard to sue schools for putting students and workers at risk.
We call on the University of Minnesota to stop lobbying Congress for corporate immunity and not require students to waive liability to come back to school in the future.