Voices on the Quad: Masks or no Masks?

By Cristian Saravia, Contributor

On Sept. 8, One Manhattan released a statement that 13 people in the Manhattan College community were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. This number raised some concern for students and faculty alike, prompting some people to wonder if they should begin wearing masks on campus again. Kevin Ahern, Ph.D. of the Religious Studies department and fellow students give their opinions on the matter.


Dr. Ahern Associate Professor, Religious Studies

How has the recent increase of COVID-19 cases at Manhattan influenced your decision on whether or not to wear a face mask in campus buildings?

I believe I’m one of the few professors who is asking all students to wear a face mask. My wife and I recently had a baby and I want to be extra careful.

How would you feel if Manhattan College made it mandatory to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status?

I’m open to the idea but it depends on the numbers, especially where and when the number of cases are around November or December.

Nathaniel King ‘23, Political Science and History

How has the recent increase of COVID-19 cases at Manhattan influenced your decision on whether or not to wear a face mask in campus buildings?

I’ve been someone who’s always been wearing a mask to class even if I didn’t need to. So it hasn’t really influenced my decision but maybe slightly vindicating it. It hasn’t had too much sway over my personal choice.

How would you feel if your professor(s) required you to wear a face mask? 

I would not mind at all. Actually, a couple of professors already do have a ruling that we are supposed to wear a mask for the first couple of weeks.

How would you feel if Manhattan College made it mandatory to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status?

I think it would shoot it in the foot, like a couple of things like sports. I do music ministry, and there’s no mask requirement there, and for singers as well. Performing arts is hard to do when you have masks on, likewise with sports. But in the classroom it’s not too bad, we’ve done it for 2 years already.

Do you have any concerns regarding the rise in COVID-19 cases?

It was kind of expected, everyone is back here at campus. It’s not surprising — hopefully, it doesn’t keep going up indefinitely.

Anthony Grochowski ’26, Education

How has the recent increase of COVID-19 cases at Manhattan influenced your decision on whether or not to wear a face mask in campus buildings?

I don’t really know anybody who’s gotten COVID. All the chairs in class are spread out so I don’t have a problem [with not] wearing a mask.

How would you feel if your professor(s) required you to wear a face mask?

If they required me to, I wouldn’t have a problem, I’m comfortable wearing a mask.

Any concerns regarding the rise in COVID-19 cases?

It’s definitely something to think about, but as of now it doesn’t affect me personally, I don’t know anyone who’s gotten it so I’ve been fine right now.

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