Staff Rants: NYU’s new masking requirements

Our staff shares their thoughts on NYU’s updated masking requirements.

On the case for old rules: 

Srishti Bungle, Opinion Editor

I think it’s a bad idea to go easy on the masks right now. The new BA.2 variant of omicron is already responsible for the majority of new infections, and scientists continue to warn us that this variant is more contagious. There have been outbreaks in Europe and China, and if there’s anything to be learned in the last two years, it’s that we should expect such an outbreak here too, even as we ease restrictions. If we keep vigilant masking measures maybe we can avoid this cyclical fate. 

On an exceptionally intelligent virus:

Asha Ramachandran, Deputy Managing Editor

The administration apparently believes that COVID-19 can differentiate between Kimmel lounges and classrooms or Bobst. Wish we had known about this during the omicron surge —  we could have moved all classes to Kimmel and boom! No more COVID-19. Thanks NYU! 

On shaving:

Trace Miller, Managing Editor

Not going to lie, wearing a mask is the only thing that makes me shave regularly because I really hate shaving, but when I don’t shave, my face is really itchy with the mask. So yeah. 

On change, or the lack thereof: 

Jules Roscoe — Deputy Opinion Editor

I think this is a step in the right direction, but it’s a step that’s far too small. NYU promised us a reconsideration of the mask policy after spring break. What they’ve put out in effect changes nothing — a lot of people I know weren’t wearing masks in residence hall lounges or club meetings anyway. Sitting in Bobst as I write this, around half the people in 4 West have their mask pulled down. Columbia University, for example, has already completely dropped its mandate, and students’ COVID-19 rates there have remained low. What NYU has given us is basically what we had before, just with new lash extensions and a ’90s blowout hairstyle.

On previous opinions: 

Caitlin Hsu — UTA Publishing Editor

You know, I’m beginning to think NYU doesn’t read our opinion articles. Like this one

On difficulty: 

Rachel Fadem — Features Editor

It’s really not that hard to wear a mask. There is no harm in wearing a mask, but the removal of masks sends the message that the NYU administration does not care about its immunocompromised students.

On unnecessary risks:

Susan Behrends Valenzuela — Creative Director

NYU saying that masks are required in class or work environments but aren’t required in study and lounge spaces is unfair and disrespectful to immunocompromised students. Should they be basically excluded from using student spaces? Should they be risking their health because they want a place to study? These spaces are supposed to serve all students.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are not the views of the Washington Square News.

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