CSULB students & faculty share differing views on masks

As Long Beach State students and professors settle into the fall semester, there continues to be different perspectives about mask-wearing in classrooms.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidelines state that people may choose to mask up at any time, but masks are still recommended in indoor public transit and, “may be required in other places by local or state authorities.” However, people with symptoms or exposure to covid should wear a mask.

At CSULB, it is required that people wear them in most indoor areas on campus, except for the University Library, Student Recreation and Wellness Center and University Student Union.

Some university professors are more lenient on enforcing them in their classrooms.

CSULB Associate Professor of Biology, Ashley Carter, said that although the actual risk from COVID-19 has reduced a lot, “it isn’t zero.”

“Wearing masks for their [student’s] peace of mind and safety is a polite and fair thing to do,” Carter said. “I personally don’t like wearing a mask at all, but I’m willing to suffer that minor inconvenience for the sake of people who have to be here.”

CSULB professor of immunology, Deborah Fraser enforces masks in her class. She compares wearing a mask to protective lab equipment that she uses in her classes.

“The value of it [lab equipment] is never questioned or suggested that it should come down to personal choice,” Fraser said. “Wearing masks indoors will reduce transmission especially in classrooms with low airflow that are packed with students for over an hour.”

More CSULB students like undeclared first-year Jocelyn Jones, feel that masks should be optional.

“I feel like it should be someone’s preference by now if they have to wear it or not. I don’t think it should be enforced upon everyone,” Jones said.

CSULB second-year criminology student, Saul Viramontes agrees with Jones.

“I feel like we’re at the point where if you have both the vaccinations and booster then there’s no need to wear it,” Viramontes said. “I feel like it should be a choice.”

Other students still agree with enforcing the mask policy on campus.

“I know there’s places on campus that require masks, so I feel like you should meet the requirements since you are in school,” said second-year political science student, Emelie Nava. “One of my professors was saying that already ten students tested positive within the first week, so I think that just because we feel like we’re going back to normal we should look into the reality of it.”

Nava said that despite feeling like society is slowly reverting back to pre-pandemic, society is still not back to normal.

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