by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Yale University has required all students to mask indoors in public spaces. But it was 9:30 p.m on a Saturday night, and the library was deserted. With no one within at least 150 feet of him, a Yale senior decided to relax with a movie—and without a mask.
It got him reported to the school’s COVID hotline.
According to the Yale senior, another student walked into the library and demanded he mask up. Since he didn’t have one on him, the senior said he would leave. As he was gathering his belongings, the other student pulled out her phone and began filming him. When the senior asked for her name, the student raised her middle finger and stormed off.
Two days later, he received a notice from the Yale administration that he had been reported for violating the school’s “Community Compact.” … He was ultimately found guilty of a violation and threatened with a “public health withdrawal.”
“The [committee] has determined that your conduct posed a risk to the health and safety of yourself or other community members,” the university wrote the student two weeks later. “Should you continue to engage in behavior that violates the Yale Community Compact, you will be placed on Public Health Warning and may face more serious outcomes, including the removal of permission to be on campus.”
According to university documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, the incident in the library took place on December 4, 2021—the same night 1,000 maskless students gathered for Yale’s annual holiday dinner. …
… The episode offers a window into the intrusive and often inconsistent enforcement of Yale’s COVID rules, which, as one student put it, “made campus feel like a surveillance state.” The rules were put in place before the existence of vaccines but have persisted long after, relaxing or tightening as case counts fluctuate and new variants erupt.