Professor mandates masks despite optional mask policy at university

A professor tweeted an image of her fall 2022 syllabus, stating that despite the university’s optional mask policy, she plans to mandate face masks in her class.

'Refusing to mask indoors is a manifestation of ableism and racism, an exercise of individual privilege that tells the most vulnerable that their health does not matter,' her syllabus draft reads.

A professor at SUNY New Paltz tweeted an image of a draft of her fall 2022 syllabus, stating that despite the university’s optional mask policy, she plans to mandate face masks in her class.

In her Aug. 8 tweet, Jessica Nydia Pabón-Colón, Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies professor at the university, wrote, "Building #mask wearing into my syllabi—tied right to the learning outcomes.”

[RELATED: Fauci says America is 'out of the pandemic phase' as universities continue to impose COVID restrictions]

“Refusing to mask indoors is a manifestation of ableism and racism, an exercise of individual privilege that tells the most vulnerable that their health does not matter,” her syllabus draft reads.

Effective March 14, 2022, the University switched to an optional mask policy

Professor Pabón-Colón acknowledges in her syllabus that the school has made masks optional. However, she plans to continue implementing them. 

On Aug. 12, Dr. Pabón-Colón followed up her initial tweet with another, writing, “so we are clear: I *do* believe the CDC's covid recs have been/are/will be ableist and racist in service to capitalism. If you don't, ask the folks still in lockdown for fear of infection, the folks of color at most risk of contracting disease b/c they're essential workers.”

[RELATED: Students face mask mandates this fall]

Dr. Pabón-Colónhas expressed a number of controversial opinions on Twitter, such as favorably retweeting a statement that free speech should be investigated, since “some words do things, including doing violence.”

Notably, rather than Dr. Pabón-Colón's Twitter name listing her actual name, her profile moniker is "Pro-Mask Pro-Abortion Jessica N. Pabón (she/ella)." 

Campus Reform reached out to Jessica Nydia Pabón-Colón and SUNY New Paltz; this article will be updated accordingly.