Nov 1st, 2020, 09:13 PM

Anti-Mask Protest At AUP Goes Awry

By Oscar Padula
Logo of AUP's Maskless Angels
Logo of AUP's Maskless Angles. Image Credit: Delvin Trask
A completely real news story — not at all satire.

Six students were escorted out of AUP and nearly arrested for an anti-face-mask protest this week. The impromptu demonstration, part of an unofficial school club, aimed to critique the school and France's mandatory mask policy for public places.

"I feel like I'm suffocating half the time when I wear a mask — I absolutely hate it," Delvin Trask explained in an interview. The undeclared senior continued on to say, "I was so fed up with teachers and students yelling at me every time I tried to take my mask off, or whenever I removed it and leaned in to articulate myself." This lead Trask to post on the AUP Student Facebook Group asking if anyone shared his annoyance. To his surprise, five students responded to the post with excitement.

"I was amazed I wasn't alone and I knew had to organize something," Trask said. The post led to an unofficial school club Trask named the Maskless Angels, which held its first meeting on Monday, October 26. The club began with five students drinking warm milk and complaining about the mask policies. "It's so unfair that the government will give you a ticket if you're caught without a mask," Rosarian Melbine, a sophomore from Guantanamo, said in the meeting. "I understand that the mask prevents the mass spread of Covid-19 or whatever, but I don't like it!"

One of Delvin Trask's early prototypes of his own AUP mask. Image Credit: Delvin Trask

Trask then led an open discussion in which the club members suggested possible loopholes around the mandatory mask laws. The students threw out ideas like duck-tapping their nostrils and mouths shut, putting plastic bags over their heads and even stuffing their mouths full of bird-feed to filter air. Trask was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the group and even tested one of the suggested methods. However, after entering the Saint-Dominique building on Tuesday with a plastic bag wrapped around his head, Trask collapsed due to air loss and said before being rushed to the hospital, "putting a plastic bag over your head is surprisingly dangerous."

The most beloved mask alternative discussed in the club came from a freshman transfer from Trump University, John Flame-Glove. "I know bikers are not required to wear a mask when they are bicycling, so in theory, we could enter AUP with bicycles and no masks without penalty."

Trask loved the proposal so much that he organized the Maskless Angels to enter AUP on bicycles without masks. On Friday at 10:35 am, the six students entered the Quai D'Orsay building mounted on bicycles with their faces exposed. The group dressed in black tank tops, red berets and satchels, chanting "no more masks, no more masks" as they biked through the halls. Trask even managed to board an elevator on his bike with two other students going to their class on the seventh floor. 

Maskless Angels bike protest. Image Credit: Department of Accurate Sketches of AUP Students

After a total of fifteen minutes, AUP security escorted each Maskless Angel off of the premises and called the police. "These students were not only breaking school policy by not wearing masks, but by riding around campus on bikes and running students over," an AUP security officer said while dragging Trask out the door by his collar. AUP is currently in the process of deciding the academic future of these six students, but an inside source informed the Peacock Plume that "it is more likely than not that the students will be expelled."

Students who witnessed the protest were confused and scared. "I got on the elevator in the Qaui building with another classmate and this maniac on a bike forced his way in the elevator," explained Johnny Wearshoodie, a USC partner student. "On the elevator, he wasn't wearing a mask, which made it easy to see him aggressively weeping and whispering to himself 'I hate masks so much.' The whole thing freaked me out."

AUP has disbanded the Maskless Angels and has prohibited the six members of the club from returning to campus or participating in their classes remotely. Students are either unaware or confused about the purpose of the protest but are shocked by the event. By and large, the chaotic demonstration has ensured students that masks, whether you like them or not, must be worn when they are required, and that there are no loopholes thus far.