Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Mask mandates allow students to embrace their creative side

Creativity is found in the oddest of places
Ana Pietrewicz / Daily Collegian

Editor’s Note: The following column is satirical. It is meant for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.

There have been many changes to our livelihoods as a result of the pandemic, but not all effects have been negative. In the midst of unprecedented times, students have found new ways to express themselves creatively. At the University of Massachusetts, students are channeling their creativity through the styles of their masks.

Many new techniques for mask wearing have emerged on campus, the most common of which is known as “The Pelican.” This style involves wearing the mask under the nose but over the mouth. It is called this because the nose protrudes from the face, causing the side profile to resemble a pelican.

Going hand-in-hand with “The Pelican” is “The Beak.” Students who rock this look are seen wearing the mask over the nose but not covering the mouth. We spoke to UMass biology Professor Syc A. Moore about these innovative mask wearing methods.

“It seems all the geese on campus have inspired students to embrace their primitive animal side,” Moore said.

Possibly the most dangerous of the mask styles is “The Visor.” The Visor derives its name from its semblance to visor sunglasses, which only cover the eyes. We spoke with Professor Moore about this style, who said, “I mean that one I actually get. More power to them.”

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. At the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, the tall building everyone uses to orient themselves on campus, librarians have taken stock of the different manners students use to position masks on their face.

In what has been called “a pathetic cry for attention” by many, sophomore Courtny Teen entered the library wearing a mask vertically on her face. The mask ran up along the side of her face covering both the mouth and nose, and scrunching up at the bridge of the nose, with either end of the mask tied around her chin and ponytail.

We spoke with Librarian Pana DiMic who said she was working when Teen arrived at the library last week. “I mean, it was still covering her mouth and nose. She didn’t technically break any rules” DiMic said. “We might have to update those bookmarks.”

Not all responses to this surge in creativity have been negative. UMass is using mask mandates to weed out unimaginative students. The Isenberg School of Management is now considering the creativity behind mask wearing as a major factor determining student admittance.

This Isenberg policy has caused a group of students from the college, formally known as “Isen-bros,” to emerge as an elite clique on campus. You can recognize an “Isen-bro” by looking for a person wearing either a suit or an Isenberg shirt, with a mask covering only half of the area it should be covering. Only the most elite mask-wearers are invited to join this clique.

It is not only “Isen-bros” who are benefiting from Isenberg’s new policy. Freshman Frankie Lynn gained immediate admission to Isenberg after unveiling her never-before-seen method of wearing a mask. With winter around the corner, Lynn put her arts and crafts to the test by making a paper snowflake from a mask.

Our reporters spoke with Lynn about her inspiring creativity. “I did it as a joke to make fun of ‘Isen-bros’” Lynn said. “I didn’t realize Isenberg would actually go with it. Isn’t it, like, a professional school?”

Lynn has become somewhat of a celebrity on campus. We spoke to self-proclaimed “Isen-bro” Eli DuRoam about the innovation of Lynn’s mask style. “She’s an icon,” DuRoam said. “I saw her walking past the campus center the other day, and I think I even breathed in the same air as her. It was life changing.”

If UMass wants to keep creativity levels high on campus, mask mandates must stay in place. Without mask mandates, UMass will continue to enroll students who lack any creative potential. We can all only hope to live up to the standards of the “Isen-bro.”

Asha Baron can be reached at [email protected].

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