Keep Community at Columbia Bible College
Columbia Bible College staff, faculty, alumni, students, parents of students, and community supporters.
write to you today as current students who are becoming increasingly
concerned about Columbia Bible College’s willingness to breach our
essential human rights, privacy rights, medical autonomy, segregate our
community, and participate in coercing students to get the COVID-19
On August 24
Columbia issued a statement to the students indicating that
vaccinations will be required for on campus residence, and that they
will be following any and all public health directives. It as been
indicated by public health that access to campus activities, events,
athletics and dining spaces will likely be restricted for those who are
unvaccinated. Other universities have already implemented these types of measures. This is discrimination and will lead to the segregation of
a population of the Columbia community.
you may argue “vaccination is not a matter of faith, and we are simply
respecting our government” we stand together stating that because
vaccination has become something that separates and segregates the
Christian community it very much becomes a matter that demands the
notice of Christian leaders. While honouring and respecting the
government is important, we are also called to follow the kingdom of
God; a kingdom that is not discriminatory against non-faith related
issues. A central tenant of the Christian faith from the beginning is
that there is to be no division among the community on matters that are
not critical to Christian theology (Gal. 3:28). We are called to stand
together in love, and support one another in our faith journeys (1 Thess.
5:11). As a Christian college you recognize the importance of this
calling. A calling to a Christ-centred, community focused, and world
impacting community has been realized in the foundations of Columbia
Bible College. We don’t want this community and this calling to be
compromised by the decisions being made.
Christians we believe that the body is a temple of the Lord (1 Cor.
6:19), and that we are to draw wisdom from God, not leaning on our own
understanding (Jm. 1:15). Caring about discovering the truth is
fundamental, and doing so in sensitivity to the Spirit is critical to
approaching non-dogmatic matters of the Christian life (1 Cor. 6:12; 2
Cor 1:12). There are many members of the Columbia community who may
choose not the be vaccinated due to matters of conscience, health, or
other concerns. Bodily autonomy is a God-given gift, and we believe that
it is crucial to not cause our brother and sisters in Christ within the
Columbia community to stumble in their conscience due to our
condemnation or coercion; realizing that Jesus is the Lord of our
conscience and that we seek to surrender our body, soul, mind, and
strength to him alone (Rom. 14:13-23; Matt. 22:36-38). We believe that
freedom to conscience is a Biblical reality, and that we are to submit
to the Kingdom of God above all else (Jn. 8:36; Gal. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:16).
The freedom to act upon matters of conscience has long been supported by
our Mennonite forefathers who left totalitarian regimes and stood
peacefully against measures that restricted the rights of others.
the average college age student (20-29) from March 2020 to August 20,
2021 there have been only 67 deaths across Canada. While the pandemic
has been built upon case numbers, risk is most accurately assessed
through the death rate due to the high recovery rate from Covid-19.
is to be contrasted against statistics for university age students
released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine
Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from December 2020-July 16 2021
- 48 Reported Deaths
- 620 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation)
- 88 heart attacks
- 263 reports of blood clotting disorders
has been historically and generally accepted that these reported deaths
and injuries only account for no more than 10% of the actual deaths and
injuries. By highlighting this in our letter we hope to open your eyes
to the reality that taking the vaccination is a decision with risk,
therefore personal choice is a MUST.
demand that students be vaccinated in order to live on campus and/or
participate fully in community life is to violate the full
protections of personal choice to undergo medical interventions (of
which a vaccine is classified) without any elements of force, coercion,
or overreach in their decision. Undoubtedly Columbia’s decision to
mandate vaccination for on-campus living and potentially for full participation in the community
presents a form of coercion for students who may not have wanted to be
vaccinated due to various concerns.
coercing and incentivizing the vaccination, Columbia violates medical
and legal ethics of medical autonomy and express informed consent to
medical procedures. Students deserve the right to make medical decisions
for their own body without consequences of social and community
These rights are protected under:
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) 37 Section 2a, 2b, 7, 8, 9, 15.
- Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005) 38
- Nuremberg Code (1947) 39
- Helsinki Declaration (1964, Revised 2013)40 Article 25, 26
students, regardless of opinions on the vaccine, we believe that it is
wrong to create division between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. It
is wrong to ask members of our community to not participate in
community life because of a medical decision they have made for their
own bodies. To do so is to create two different “classes” of students
and to discriminate against the unvaccinated in restricting their
community involvement. Columbia does not have any right to inquire,
collect, record or require protected and private medical information or
treatment, and is specifically prohibited, by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) under
section 2(1) by which the college is bound to respect personal
information, including medical information. To require disclosure of
information concerning whether a student has or has not received a
medical treatment constitutes an unjust invasion of privacy under FIPPA section 21(3).
students who love the Columbia community we are respectfully asking
that this division is discontinued. We ask that Columbia does not
partake in the coercion or participate in the recommending,
facilitating, and incentivizing of the vaccination to insist that students
partake in vaccination as a condition of on campus living and community participation. We ask for nondisclosure of this personal
medical information to prevent discrimination and protect the privacy of
members in our community. While much of this has been done in the guise
of “protecting our community” it has the potential to tear the
community apart by dividing and segregating the vaccinated and the
Columbia will be put on personal and legal notice through Notices of Liability if these actions continue. A Notice of Liability is not an instigation of legal action in itself but advises CBC of the ramifications of their own policies.
.** Note: There is clarification of what this entails on our website. We have received some responses from students who may not have fully understood the intent of our letter, which has prompted a statement of clarification **
are more than happy to engage in conversation with the community and
any Columbia staff, faculty and students surrounding this issue.
Call to Action: Regardless of where you stand on beliefs about the vaccination, if you want to see the Columbia community unified and build a non-discriminatory community that upholds our God-given rights to bodily autonomy, please
1) Sign our Petition
2) Contact CBCstands@protonmail.com to show your support.
3) Check out our website for updates and further statements from CBC Stands Student Coalition: https://cbcstands.wixsite.com/website
4) If you a student or alumni of CBC, and want to join us, you can find us on Facebook under 'CBC Stands Student Coalition'