Professors: UNMASKED

Why doesn’t Ferris require professors to wear masks?

This year showed the world that our way of life needed to change soon. One of the biggest changes so far has been the transition to wearing masks.

I never imagined that the simple action of putting a cloth material over the mouth would become such a controversial topic. It still boggles my mind that, although it is now a federal law to wear a mask in public areas, people refuse. I understand those who cannot wear masks for valid medical reasons, but too many people have a problem with this requirement.

Students and faculty members have informed me that Ferris professors have the option to remove or not wear a mask while in the classroom. I was caught off guard by this interesting news. When I asked why this was, the reason was unknown. However, we speculated that someone must’ve been unhappy about the required mask arrangements.

A fellow student told me that they have stopped going to their in-person classes because the professor chooses not to wear a mask during lecture. While the professor is technically allowed to make that personal decision, they failed to realize the effect it would have on students in the class. This student became uncomfortable and unable to further attend in-person classes because they felt at risk.

Here is a piece of perspective that people may not have considered before: nobody enjoys wearing a mask. Nobody feels comfortable when they wear a mask. Nobody puts on a face mask and says “Wow, I’m so excited for wear this for 12 hours today!” The crucial idea to understand is that this is more for others’ safety than your own.

One word to describe why people need to wear face masks or coverings in public is respect. We need to consider others as we put on that cloth material every day before we go to class or work.

Do you want to protect your colleagues and classmates from potential COVID-19 exposure? Wear a mask. During a visit to your sickly grandmother’s house, are you going to do whatever it takes to make sure her condition doesn’t worsen? Of course. Wear a mask.

Masks exist to keep yourself and those around you safe from any potential illness. Asymptomatic people walk among us every day. You can show no signs of physical illness, however, carry an illness on your body. 

To any Ferris professors currently deciding not to place that face covering over their mouth during lecture, I kindly ask you to reconsider. Out of respect for your students’ physical and mental wellbeing, please think about what you’re doing. Remember that actions have consequences, whether they directly affect you or someone else.

At the end of the day, we are all in the same boat. We, as a society, must look out for one another. Each person’s life is as special and significant as the next. The world is an especially scary, messy place right now. 

If wearing a mask for a few hours means I could save someone’s life, I would throw one on in a heartbeat. I hope you would too.