- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2022

Amherst College will use an anonymous survey to determine the future of COVID-19 masking on campus, according to a report, and a single “yes” vote could trigger mandatory masking for an entire classroom.

The liberal arts college based in Massachusetts alerted the university’s students and staff about the new anonymous survey in a campus-wide email last Thursday by Amherst Provost and Dean of Faculty Catherine Epstein, according to a copy of the email obtained by the Daily Mail.

Instructors will conduct the surveys in their classrooms before Oct. 17 either by collecting anonymous handwritten responses to the question “Should masks be required in this class?” or by using a university-provided template that Ms. Epstein provides in her email.

“If anyone in the class, including the instructor, wants to continue masking, then masks will be required,” Ms. Epstein wrote. “Additionally, even those classes that determine that masks will be optional will respect an individual’s choice to wear a mask.”

She continued on to say that faculty are encouraged to revisit their classes’ stance on masking with another survey in early November. 

Ms. Epstein said that the college will require masking once again after Thanksgiving break “for an appropriate duration” due to holiday travel.

Amherst actually started the year requiring all students and staff to wear KN95 masks in most indoor settings, and even “when asked to do so by someone with whom you are interacting.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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