Central Students Divided on Mask Mandate

Jessica Bravo, Contributor


Some students at Central Connecticut State say that the mask mandate this semester is unfair and unnecessary.

Over the summer, Central announced that all students would be required to get vaccinated to attend on-campus classes.

Last semester, President Dr. Zulma Toro announced that the fall 2021 semester will return to a near-normal campus. This caused many Central students to believe that if they get vaccinated, they would no longer have to wear a mask. The new mandate has upset some students.

“I’m not anti-mask,” Sean Oushana, a senior at Central, said. “I am perfectly okay with people wearing a mask if they are comfortable with that. There just shouldn’t be a mandate to wear a mask.”

Oushana, vice president of Central’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, started a petition on Change.org asking Central to change their policies, like wearing a mask if vaccinated. “Within a week, the petition had around 700 signatures,” he said.

Oushana said that since Central promised in spring 2021 that the campus would go back to a “normal semester,” it’s only fair to keep their promise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who are vaccinated have a reduced risk of contracting COVID-19 or the Delta variant. The CDC’s website said the vaccine isn’t perfect, and there are cases where those who are vaccinated can still contract COVID-19. Because of this, the CDC recommends that people still wear their masks indoors.

“On the off chance people do test positive [once vaccinated], the chances of you having symptomatic COVID and being able to transmit it is extremely low,” he said.

Oushana continued, saying that the mask mandate is adding an “unnecessary constraint to campus life.” There’s a lot of social interaction that comes with facial cues,” he said. “When you’re trying to meet people for the first time, it’s hard when you’re cutting out half of that language.”

Jenna Noce, a sophomore at Central from North Haven, said she likes Central’s mask mandate this semester. “I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect ourselves and others from COVID,” she said. “So, I think this is a good way to hold everyone responsible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”

Noce said though the university made a good call on the mask mandate, she is unhappy that some students get non-medical exemptions from getting the COVID shot.

“It’s disappointing,” she said. “I believe it isn’t fair to other students who went through the trouble to get vaccinated. Other students are going to get out of it and then rely on the vaccinated students to not get sick.”

In response to students who are unhappy with Central’s mask mandate, Noce said people should forget that it is annoying to them and focus on the “bigger picture”. “You should think about the people who need you to wear that mask most,” she said. “I think that’s a great way to encourage yourself and other people to wear it.”