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Students at Arkansas Want Mask Mandate

August 5, 2021

Students at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville want the state to change a ban on mask mandates, KNWA News reported.

Coleman Warren, the student body president, said Act 1002, which bans mask mandates in Arkansas, puts students at risk. “Repeal this act, because we think it should be up to the discretion of the university to make this decision,” he said.

The university supports a review of the law. A spokesman said, “Given the changed circumstances since the spring, including the rapid rise in infections and the emergence of the Delta variant, we commend the governor and legislative leaders working to address this need for K-12 schools and urge them to consider adding higher education institutions as well. This would help increase the likelihood of a safe, in-person activities while also decreasing the chance of community spread.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said he supports a repeal for K-12 schools, but not for higher education. “They have access to vaccines,” Hutchinson said. “They can make the decision to have a vaccine and protect themselves in that fashion, or they can wear a mask, as well.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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