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University Settles with Student Punished for Sharing About Religious Exemption

Garrett Wedemire

A public university in Michigan settled with a former student who was kicked out of campus housing for sharing about how she got a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine.

First Liberty Institute reached an amicable settlement with Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, on behalf of former student Inara Ramazanova.

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She was evicted by Oakland University the summer before the 2021-22 school year due to sharing her personal COVID-19 vaccine accommodations on social media.

Ramazanova, an immigrant from Russia, was granted a religious accommodation from the university’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, allowing her to live on campus for the school year.

Soon after, however, the university evicted Ramazanova after she shared her request and exemption on Facebook, arguing that her post warranted “collusion or conspiracy” under Oakland University’s Code of Conduct.

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Justin Butterfield, deputy counsel at First Liberty Institute, celebrated the settlement with the public university.

“We appreciate Oakland University bringing this case to a positive conclusion, Inara was simply exercising her free speech rights by sharing information on social media,” Butterfield said. “She is happy this incident is behind her and she is grateful for her time at OU.”

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