The College Campuses That Still Force Students To Wear Masks

"In practical terms, COVID-19 poses zero threat to the G.W. community."


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington, D.C., remained one of the most aggressively pro-masking municipalities in the country, and brought back the indoor mask mandate twice, for the delta and omicron waves. Mayor Muriel Bowser finally rescinded the mandate—hopefully for good—beginning on March 1, though masks remain compulsory for many school kids, commuters, and library visitors.

Across the country, government-mandated masking is mostly over, with air travel being a notable exception. But that doesn't mean mask mandates are dead and gone. Indeed, many college campuses still have mask mandates in place, even though their student populations are almost entirely vaccinated and at low risk of negative COVID-19 health outcomes.

George Washington University (GWU), for instance—located in Washington, D.C.—still has a universal indoor mask mandate in place and has no plans as of yet to get rid of it. This, despite the fact that the university requires students to be vaccinated and boosted, and tests them every other week.

Jack Elbaum, a sophomore at GWU, attempted to press the university administration for more details about why the mask mandate wasn't going away. He did not receive a satisfying response.

"I was, first, directed to the university's previous statements and, second, informed that GW has not changed its Covid-19 restrictions because of 'our recent spring break and the rise of the BA.2 variant [a subvariant of Omicron],'" he wrote in a piece for The Federalist. "To put it bluntly: this is not sufficient justification."

Elbaum tells Reason that GWU's policies make absolutely no sense.

"In practical terms, COVID-19 poses zero threat to the G.W. community, yet the administration keeps a policy in place that ensures the virus is on people's minds every day," Elbaum says.

GWU is hardly alone. Connecticut College still requires indoor masking, unless a student is eating or drinking, using the bathroom, or in his room with the door closed. Masks are still mandatory in the gym; they are even required while outdoors if students are in "close proximity" to each other.

New York University (NYU) forces students to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking, or unless they are shut away in their dorm rooms. The university is even picky about what kind of masks the students wear: no bandanas, scarves, or cloth masks.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is similarly picky about masks and isn't planning to ease its mandate until April 11. "UCLA plans to relax its mandatory indoor masking requirements on April 11 for most students, faculty and staff who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations (including boosters), although indoor masking remains strongly recommended," wrote the university. "Until that date, please continue to follow the guidance below."

Many college campuses that have rescinded the mask mandate still require masks in the classroom, including the University of Michigan.

"I feel like the classroom requirement is burdensome on a lot of students," Mason Hinawi, a Michigan student, told The Michigan Daily. "(COVID-19) has been a cloak over everyone's social lives. I feel like it's time for things to start moving in the right direction here." The administration apparently disagrees.

Every college that still clings, desperately, to mask mandates must ask itself one simple question: If not now, when? Students are as safe as they can be, but the policies at GWU and other places treat them like the most uniquely fragile population on the earth.

NEXT: Veggie 'Meat' Maker Tofurky Wins Free Speech Challenge to Food-Labeling Law

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  1. Let's deal with the TSA and CDC first.

    I'm still trying to figure out how they have the authority to mandate masks on local city busses.

    1. It’s gonna take a Rosa Parks moment to stop it.

      1. Today they’d probably just call her a Karen.

    2. The Golden Rule - - - - - - - -

    3. I flew Southwest last week and pulled off my mask as soon as I sat down-nobody said a word. The airlines are done with it but still have to pretend to follow the TDA dictum.

      1. Not on Frontier
        They kept coming by and ordering people to wear the mask to cover the nose

        1. Frontier sucks-they nickel and dime for everything. Surprised they don’t make you buy their own masks.

    4. The federal government pays for about 85% of the costs of city buses so they make the rules.

  2. 10A The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    1. They've really turned that concept on its head the past 80 years or so.

    2. silly, obviously the power to regulate literally ANYTHING was granted to the federal government with this completely unambiguous clause:

      "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states"


  3. that was a reply to Minadin

  4. “New York University (NYU) forces students to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking, or unless they are shut away in their dorm rooms. The university is even picky about what kind of masks the students wear: no bandanas, scarves, or cloth masks.”

    Give NYU some credit. If you are going to mandate the wearing of masks, at least require the use of a mask that might actually be somewhat effective. Don’t get me wrong; the time for any sort of masking is over. But if you seriously believe that masks are still necessary, cloth masks are absolutely useless and make a mockery out of your belief.

    1. Go fuck yourself.

    2. Masks aren't necessary at all.

  5. . . . or using the bathroom . . . "

    I don't even want to know - - - - - -

    1. One word: Blumpkin

      1. What students at GWU and these other schools need to do is say that wearing a mask interferes with expressing their gender identity. Surprised nobody has thought of this

        1. Except, the people who would identify as some sort of ambiguous gender LOVE mask mandates.

  6. "...yet the administration keeps a policy in place that ensures the virus is on people's minds every day,"

    And that's the plan.

    1. Really Jerry? What plan do you speak of? Don't tell me you've caught on to our master plan to enslave white people in reeducation camps while BLM and Transgender Uber Captains seize your pick up and women! That plan?

      1. IT'S ALL theater..., and YOU understand this more then most. U r just a piece of human garbage who parrots the words of Evil. U r as gross as a human can wantingly be.
        The Phucko Knows

  7. But Robby, the risk is "credible", or at least as credible as the other things you've used that word for so it must be a very real hazard.

  8. There should never have been masks or restrictions on (well anyone) young people in particular. If they had continued socializing as normal throughout there would have been more natural immunity faster and I bet things would be a lot better. If the masks and restrictions had any effect, it was only to make the pandemic last longer than it had to. Now it's extra absurd since the virus is even less dangerous than it was a year ago. The best thing at this point is for as many healthy people to be exposed to it as possible. There is no doubt that natural immunity is vastly superior to vaccination for the variants currently in circulation and the risk to a young healthy person is negligible. We need to get out of the mindset of avoiding infection being the main concern.

    1. Maybe someone can do some research and see if more college kids died during Spring Break (o.d., traffic accidents, etc.) than have died this year from Chicomvirus?

      1. That would be one of those studies that everyone makes fun of because everybody already knows the answer.

    2. Well Zeb, you're wrong again. Besides for the fact that the unvaxxed have been leading new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in both red and blue states, they are also less protected after catching it than those who are vaccinated.

      "COVID-19 vaccination causes a more predictable immune response than infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 and can provide added protection for people who already had COVID-19. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.

      All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 can offer some protection from future illness, sometimes called “natural immunity,” but the level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age.

      Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is also a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, and we can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness. If you get sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. You can also continue to have long-term health issues after COVID-19 infection...."

      1. Keep it up, you piece of shit propagandist. Either you'll answer to your masters or you'll answer to the truth. Regardless, if their is any justice, you end up with a swift blow to the head with a 10-pound hammer like livestock.

      2. The Corona has a 99.94% survival rate in America and a 99.9? chance of survival throughout the world. My GOD Friday u are one of the all-time idiots on planet earth. U r lying thru your teeth about the unvaxed folks and the human herd. It's the vaxed who r in serious trouble. Stop lying about WHAT a mRNA shot IS! We can only hope that YOU got ALL the shots and continue to wear your face diaper. As the whole affair is but an IQ test. A test that will end in the culling of the morons in society. Bye-bye u f-ing jackass.
        The Phucko Knows

      3. Yeah, maybe a year ago you could have been excused for believing that. The CDC has lost all credibility. There are lots of other people looking at data and coming to other conclusions. Not to say that they are all right. But you can't just look to one source for all the answers.
        One thing that is quite clear at this point is that natural immunity protects people more and lasts much longer than vaccine induced immunity for this virus.

  9. It's been roughly three weeks since Washington state lifted its mask mandate, and you'll never guess what happened next!

  10. New York University (NYU) forces students to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking

    Or, of course, unless actively "eating" or "drinking".


  11. Clearly, there are far too many mask-holes.

  12. How did that Winter of Death work out?

  13. If only there were some way for students to protest these ineffective and non-sensical restrictions. Maybe a mass no-mask day?

    Or would they find that 95% of their classmates want to keep the masks on forever?

  14. The university where I work (until Friday) just ended their indoor mask mandate effective April 4. I think this article downplays the percentage of universities across the country that still have a mask mandate.

  15. Gee, Robby quotes experts - 3 students - on the issue. Given the newest variant is more contagious than any of the previous, you have to be a fool or an asshole to think there is no need for caution until it's surge is past.

    I guess Robby knows his audience.

    1. We need the same level of precaution as during the swine flu pandemic.

    2. U r a child.
      The Phucko Knows

    3. Why is there need for caution? It is more contagious, but also far less dangerous. College students have no more to fear from it than they do from regular colds and flus. And if they catch it they will have far better immunity to the currently dominant strains than they could get from the vaccines. We're to the point with this virus where everyone is going to get it.

  16. You're all only against masks because the libs are for them. You like to pretend that 1 million Americans didn't die from this disease because Trump and his lackeys, bootlicks and butt-boys freaked out over the most miniscule impositions on their lives. But pretending won't change the facts.

    1. Most of them died under FJB's watch.

    2. U spot nonsense.., NOT FACTS. The audits have been completed. The ACTUAL death rate from Covid is only 6% of those million u hang your hat on. Do the math moron. It works out to 60.000. Or 30,00 per year. Which is the normal expected flu deaths EVERY YEAR!! The virus has a 99.94% chance of survival in America. YOU and other morons in society just can't grasp numbers. U instead chose to live in the fear porn offered up by MSM. Deb Brix (who "retired" 4-weeks later) held a press conference in April of 2020 TELLING ALL..., how the CDC was going to CHANGE the death certificates from dying WITH Corona..., to dying OF Corona. As the flu season was ending and they needed a way to keep the numbers juiced for the scared ass morons like yourself. So congrats on your continued need to be pissed on for the last 2-yrs. U r just another idiot helping to acquaintance humanity over a cliff of no return.
      The Phucko Knows

    3. Pretty much everything you wrote there is wrong.

  17. You have two groups of people. First are those who worry too much about health. This would include my late father, who if he were alive, would be siding with the likes of Dr. Fauci, despite being a Goldwater/Reagan Republican. If any of his doctors told him to do something, whether it was take medication, undergo a procedure, or make lifestyle changes, he would do it.

    Couple that with being on a medication that suppressed his immune system, and he was a bit of a hypochondriac.

    Then, there are the lawyers. If they think that allowing a behavior could cause a college or university to incur liability, they will tell an oversight board to ban it. So, if a college requires masks, then it's basically immune from being sued by a student or student's family, if the student comes down with Covid and needs a lengthy hospital stay or has long-term effects from Covid.

    Lone Star Steakhouses used to have barrels of peanuts in the waiting area. You just dropped the shells on the floor. Well, someone slipped and fell, and the lawyers deemed the peanuts a hazard.

    1. Odd. Around here, Texas Roadhouse is the place with the peanuts and the beer signs as decor. Lone Star Steakhouse has nice carpets and is going for the cattle baron atmosphere.

  18. Are they locked into a admission contract or can they freely transfer out of there? I boycotted the stores around here who enforced mask wearing.

    1. Lol. Or did you boycott the stores because they would NOT LET YOU IN?

  19. These students, once graduated, should never donate a cent to the schools that treated them like shit. Fuck these indoctrination centers.

  20. It it not insanity. It is power and control. Mask mandates are simply an intermediate test for servitude.

  21. Students need to start revolting as a group and telling professors and these administrations that masks are over and if students want to wear them they can be optional.

    Masks DON'T WORK!!! WHY is this such a difficult concept for Americans to come to terms with. Study after study not only showed masks aren't working but lockdowns, social distancing and all of these other ridiculous mandates did little to NOTHING to stop the spread of Covid for 2+ years now.

    Stop acting like life is supposed to be 100% free from risks....grow up and wake up or stay in your basement and leave the rest of us to move on with real life...

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