Georgetown Univ reinstates mask mandate for classrooms, but library and study halls are free reign

Georgetown University announced in April a return to in-class mask mandates which they have decided will remain in place for the upcoming fall session and for the foreseeable future.

The mandate applies to students while in classrooms and laboratories, but not to “informal gatherings” in libraries and study centers, a reminder announcement from the D.C. university said Wednesday.

Students must also wear a non-cloth mask on university-sponsored transportation as well as in healthcare facilities. Moreover, anyone without a medical or religious exemption must have had a primary COVID shot and a booster if eligible. This applies to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to Georgetown. Those with an exemption, however, will have to submit to a COVID test every week while school is in session.

Rice University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and American University have also reinstated similar on-campus mask policies.

“We are taking these steps in response to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases on the Main Campus and Medical Center campuses this week, particularly among undergraduate students. This increase is partly due to the impact of the BA.2 omicron subvariant. BA.2 is now the dominant strain in the United States, including in DC and on our campuses. While recent studies show that BA.2 does not cause more severe illness than the initial omicron variant, they also show that BA.2 is even more transmissible,” the April announcement read.

According to a university dashboard, 98 percent of Georgetown students and faculty are vaccinated against COVID-19.

That seems like a pretty good reason NOT to reinstate a mask mandate, but then again, Georgetown hasn’t shown itself to be quite the repository of critical thinking its exorbitant tuition might suggest.

Georgetown University Law Center lecturer Ilya Shapiro was placed on administrative leave in February over a tweet that he initially hoped would elevate the level of political discourse in America, but that clearly only served to enrage his superiors at the university.

“Objectively best pick for Biden is Sri Srinivasan, who is solid prog & v smart. Even has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American. But alas doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black women. Thank heaven for small favors?” he wrote on Twitter at the time. “Because Biden said he’s only consider[ing] black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.”

At the NCAA tournament in March of 2021, coach Patrick Ewing and the entire Georgetown Hoyas basketball team took a knee for the national anthem, and in a moment of actual social justice, proceeded to then get stomped on by the Colorado Buffaloes by 23 points.

And in July, Georgetown University Law Center professor Heidi Li Feldman took to social media to rail against the “rogue” Supreme Court, which is the standard, tired reaction that any left-winger has when decisions don’t go their way.

“With an actively rogue Supreme Court, U.S. lawyers, legal scholars, and law schools have to reckon with how to practice, teach, and understand law without falling into complicity with lawlessness,” she began.

“With the rise of the Trump-Republican Party, this traction – the ability to argue within a shared expectation of commitment to rule of law and justice – has completely evaporated. Last term’s Supreme Court decisions are just the most recent high-profile evidence for this,” read only a portion of her diatribe.

Naturally, she still has a job with the university.

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