Students weigh in on mask mandates

Members of YSU’s faculty union gathered to protest YSU’s lack of a mask mandate Friday, Aug. 13, outside Tod Hall. YSU-OEA spokesperson Mark Vopat said their goal was just to get the university to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Photo by Abigail Cloutier / The Jambar

By Samantha Smith

Youngstown State University announced at the start of the fall semester that there is a mask mandate for all indoor settings on campus, regardless of vaccination status.

As stated on YSU’s Coronavirus Information page, four out of the five counties in the Mahoning Valley are labeled as high transmission areas. Once these levels of transmission go down within the region, reconsideration of the mask mandate may occur.

Students on campus expressed their thoughts on the mandate announcement. 

Rachel Austin, a freshman majoring in marketing management, said while it is not great to wear masks again, anything that will help others stay healthy and on campus is the best thing to do. 

Gunnar Carwild, a sophomore majoring in BFA theatre, explained why he thinks the mask mandate is a good idea.

“I know a lot of campuses around are going through the mask mandates. I think it’s the safest scenario right now,” he said. 

Michael Williamkiraly, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, said although he does not like wearing the masks, it is important to protect others.

Sydney Morre, a senior finance major, said it is the only thing we can do right now for the safety of everyone on campus. 

Abbygael Wargo, a junior majoring in biology, expressed similar sentiments. 

“It’s a great way to keep everyone safe, especially in the classroom where we might not have enough space to be that six feet apart,” she said.

Wargo went on to say what more can be done as well as wearing masks.

“Wash your hands. I suggest even after every class if you have time to stop at the restroom, go wash your hands,” she said. “Do it for 60 seconds and follow all of the rules and guidelines that we have out right now. Just to make sure everyone stays safe and we can stay on campus.”

YSU will offer free vaccine clinics on campus Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sept. 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. YSU will also have free COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff.

For more information about YSU’s testing options, vaccinations and protocols, go to