University of Minnesota: Medical School Appears to Require Students to Affirm Political Viewpoints During White Coat Ceremony


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On August 19, 2022, the Class of 2026 recited a student-created oath at the University of Minnesota Medical School white coat ceremony. The oath consisted of contested political viewpoints about historical land ownership, racial justice, and health equity. Based on video of the ceremony, it appears students were required to recite the oath as a condition of their continued education. On October 12, FIRE called on the medical school to make clear that students may refuse to say the oath without penalty, and that students will not have to affirm any political viewpoints as a condition of their continued education at the school. On October 19, the school clarified that the oath is voluntary and that students will not face repercussions for refusing to say it.