A dean from Morehead State University interrupted an event headlined by Daily Wire Editor Cabot Phillips on Feb. 15 to inform students they had to be masked indoors.
Campus Reform obtained the video that shows the cloth mask wearing Dean of Students Max Ammons standing in front of the auditorium in the middle of Phillip’s speech during the Turning Point USA event.
“I will share with you that the university policy, I’m talking in terms of policy, masks are required to be worn indoors,” the dean said, “and so, I just ask that you be respectful of the university policy.”
Phillips, the former editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, said that the dean walked up and down the aisles to remind students about the policy. When he was offered “five minutes of stage time” to tell everyone at the same time he declined.
“The administrator clearly viewed interrupting my speech as a means of showing his power,” the Daily Wire editor said to Campus Reform. “It had nothing to do with him actually caring about public health.”
Morehead State has continued to implement its indoor mask mandate for the 2022 spring semester. According to the university guidelines, masks are required for all individuals while indoors or on University transportation. Exceptions are made for dining and when outdoors.
“We will continually access CDC-related data, and if information supports a reduction in mask usage, we will consider revising the precautions at some point,” the school’s website said.
Steven Devoto, a student at the university and an attendee at the event, said that it was not the fact that the dean was enforcing the policy but the way he did it that was the issue.
“Regarding people enforcing [the] rules, especially if they’re paid to do it, my main grievance is the way he did it,” he said. “He basically interrupted the entire speech and came to the front and then walked around and make sure everyone was wearing [a mask] in a very rude way.”
“Before the event started, he could have came in, possibly talked to the event coordinator… and just said, in a more polite manner, ‘it’s school policy for you to do XYZ’ instead of barging in and making a show of yourself,” he argued.
“Dr. Fauci’s actually advised people against wearing cloth masks,” the student said.
But in the video the dean said he was not there to debate the policy, but to enforce it.
“I’ll explain one thing,” he said. “I’m not here to debate… how effective [masks are] in reducing the spread of the virus.”
“There are means if you disagree with the policy that you can voice your disagreement,” he said.
In September, Montana State University students who organized a petition against the instated mask mandate were barred from an audience with the school’s president and locked out of the building by police presence.
A counter-protester at a Pennsylvania State University pro-vaccine rally was assaulted by a professor last summer for opposing mandated vaccination. The professor has since been placed on administrative leave.
Ammons pointed out that there is a method for expressing disagreement with the policy, telling the crowd of students that they are free to “voice their disagreement.”