WATCH: University administrator disrupts Cabot Phillips event until auditorium masks up
The dean of students disrupted a Turning Point USA event to mandate the auditorium wear masks throughout the event.
Campus Reform obtained a video of the incident.
A Morehead State University dean interrupted a student-sponsored event headlining Daily Wire Editor Cabot Phillips on Feb. 15 to mandate that the auditorium mask up for the duration of the speech.
In a video obtained by Campus Reform, Dean of Students Max Ammons can be seen standing at the front of the auditorium donning a cloth mask while Phillips is mid-delivering his 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," Ammons said, "and so, I just ask that you be respectful of the university policy."
According to Phillips, Ammons trekked up and down the aisles to remind students to continuously wear their masks. When offered "five minutes of stage time" to make a formal announcement, Ammons declined.
"The administrator clearly viewed interrupting my speech as a means of showing his power," Phillips told Campus Reform. "It had nothing to do with him actually caring about public health."
Phillips is the former editor in chief of Campus Reform.
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 Kentucky university's website states.
Morehead State University student Steven Devoto attended Phillips' event and told Campus Reform that the issue was not that Ammons enforced the mandate but how he did it.
"Regarding people enforcing [the] rules, especially if they're paid to do it, my main grievance is the way he did it," Devoto 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."
Rather than disrupt Phillip's event, Devoto suggested that the dean could have taken preventative measures to ensure that the mandate was enforced, and that the event was smoothly conducted.
"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," Devoto suggested.
Phillips was the first to point out the arbitrary policy, referring to guidance from Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States Anthony Fauci, who has streamlined guidelines for the United States' approach to navigating the virus for the past two years.
"Dr. Fauci's actually advised people against wearing cloth masks," Phillips stated, referring to the lack of standardized guidance from the university.
Ammons responded he was not there to debate whether or not cloth masks are effective, but to enforce university standards.
"I'll explain one thing," Ammons responded. "I'm not here to debate... how effective [masks are] in reducing the spread of the virus."
The news over cloth masks broke when CDC announced that cloth masks do not provide high-quality protection against COVID-19. The CDC website currently reflects the ongoing debate, stating that cloth masks are less effective than medical or N95 masks and "may provide some protection if well designed and used correctly."
The CDC also recommends educating the public "about their correct use."
The sentiment around mask mandates among college students has faced a back and forth battle on campus, and Campus Reform has reported on student adversity to mandated policies.
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."
"There are means if you disagree with the policy that you can voice your disagreement," he stated.
Phillips proceeded to deliver his speech to the approximately 50-person crowd.
Campus Reform has reached out to Morehead State University and Ammons for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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