OU Perspective: Should masks remain mandatory?

After Oakland County lifted the mask mandates for schools on Feb. 28, questions were raised whether Oakland University would follow suit. During the OU Senate meeting on Feb. 17, discussions have begun about lifting the mask mandate for OU.

In one effort to hear the community’s opinions about whether or not the mask mandate should get repealed, The Post teamed with OU Student Congress (OUSC) to conduct a student survey. The short survey asks questions regarding the mask mandate and includes a section to write in a custom response.

The results of the survey show 57.5% of students are in favor of removing the mask mandate before the end of Winter 2022. Full results of all included questions can be found in the article from The Post on March 4

Some students at OU share their thoughts about what they feel is the correct course of action going forward.

Stephen Grenn, Freshman, Accounting

“It’s about the right time to lift it, with COVID-19 no longer being as big as it was and the vaccine mandate, the masks are no longer necessary.”

Samson Jeyakumar, Senior, Biology

“The mandate has served its purpose, especially now that the elementary, middle and high school kids aren’t mandated to follow it. I think with the advent of the boosters everyone who was really at risk has gotten it [the vaccine].”

“At this point I feel like everyone is walking around off campus without masks anyways. If they’re to transmit anything it’ll end up happening while people eat on campus or go to take drinks. It may serve as a preventative measure but at this rate I feel like it’s ineffective.”

Lorena Valenzuela, Senior, Marketing and Spanish

“It should be optional, because there still are immune compromised students attending in person classes, but the vaccine has shown to prevent illness as well as it has been mandated at OU.”

William McGovern, Sophomore, Business

“My thoughts are that it should be removed, since to be on campus you already need to be fully vaccinated. Not to mention how many people in the [Oakland] Center I constantly see not wearing a mask. I think that it should be a choice not a rule.”

“Some K-12 schools have already removed the mandate so I don’t see why we’re any different. I’d say remove it on the 18th and warn people, and if people are scared and removing it is an issue then maybe direct them somewhere they can talk about that.”

Victorija Webb, Social Work

“I don’t think they should be removed this semester just because COVID-19 is still a risk and even if it gets lifted I’m still going to have to wear one because of living with someone who’s high risk. So it would make it easier for me to keep the mask mandate for this semester at least.”

Maryam Toma, Sophomore, Clinical and Diagnostic Science – Pre PA

“Students were required to be vaccinated to be going in person. If the vaccine works and almost everyone is vaccinated, we do not need to add a layer of fabric. It would not change a thing.” 

“Students are mostly not wearing masks when going out, so why sit in class for one to three hours wearing a mask? If everyone is ‘social distancing’ then there shouldn’t be a mask mandate. Masks should be optional and be removed ASAP. It should really be the students choice, as they decided to be on campus and take the vaccine.”