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Columbus State Faculty Calls For Fall Mask Mandate

Columbus State Community College Sign
David Holm
Columbus State Community College

The union representing Columbus State Community College faculty has called for the college to implement an indoor face mask requirement during the upcoming fall semester.

The Columbus State Education Association sent an email late Thursday requesting the college implement the mask requirement for the fall semester as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the state. The email was sent after Columbus City Schools announced it will require masks for everyone in its schools at the start of the school year.

Professor and union president Tom Shanahan said with the rise of the delta variant, the faculty just wants to keep staff, students and each other safe.

"I don't think that's a radical view, I think it is just simply a prudent approach to the situation right now," he said.

Shanahan said the decision for the executive committee of the union to vote for this request was not strictly based off of Columbus City Schools' decision, but was it was a factor in their decision to send the email when they did.

He added many students from Columbus City Schools attend Columbus State through their College Credit Plus program where they earn college credits.

"Right now we're concerned of the lack of a consistent policy for the Autumn, and some of that is understandable because the pandemic itself is unpredictable," he said.

Currently, Columbus State only encourages face masks for unvaccinated students, and does not mandate masks indoors. The college wrote in a statement that it has received the union's request and will be considering all options when the fall semester begins on August 30.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.