Mask your face, not your integrity

AB Boyd | Cartoonist

This is not the semester any of us wanted, but it is the one we have been given.

The fact that we are on campus at all is a blessing, and it is up to us to do what we can to ensure that our classes can stay at least somewhat face-to-face.

As a united student body we can keep each other safe, but sometimes doing the right thing can be a little uncomfortable. That being said, holding your friends accountable is a vital part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 through our campus.

Don’t peer pressure others into not wearing masks on campus. There are a lot of students on campus — especially freshmen — who are trying to figure out how to fit in during this new stage of life, and are trying to follow the coolest trends. More people look up to you than you probably know; all it takes is a few intentional decisions to inspire others to do the same.

Wearing a mask is cool. It’s responsible. It’s vital. Not wearing a mask doesn’t make you a fun, trendy individual — it makes you a danger to the students who have been following all of the proper guidelines (not to mention incredibly disrespectful).

It is our responsibility to wear masks and socially distance while in public. Authorities can announce new rules for as much as they want, but these safety measures are going to be futile if the student body of Baylor University can’t put aside our personal preferences.

Be the person who stands out. If your group of friends is wanting to all gather together and they don’t seem to care about wearing masks, don’t let them peer pressure you into not wearing a mask either.

We are in a pandemic. That word may have lost the impact it had when we first started throwing it around, but don’t be fooled: the pandemic is still far from over.

Now more than ever we need to know where we stand and have the confidence to call people out.

There is no shame in being cautious. There is no shame in telling a friend that they aren’t being safe. We are only going to get so many more chances to pull together and unite against COVID-19, so we have to act wisely.

Baylor has many at-risk staff, faculty and students whose lives could be in peril if they caught the virus.

Yes, it can be tedious to wear the proper face-coverings for hours at a time in the Texas heat. However, if a little discomfort every now and then can save a life while also keeping us on Baylor’s campus, then that is a price we should all be more than willing to pay.

Call out your friends. Call out your professors. Don’t feel guilty for saying something.

We have been given the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company on our beautiful campus, and it is up to us not to blow it.