News and Analysis

Montana State University Professors, Faculty Harass Students Over Mask Mandate Protest
Courtesy: Young Americas Foundation (YAF)

Montana State University (MSU) professors and other faculty members have taken it upon themselves to verbally accost students protesting MSU’s mask mandate. In emails obtained by The Daily Wire, at least five MSU professors and faculty used their work emails to harass and swear at engineering student and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chair Dylan Dean. Their responses were prompted by Dean’s invitation for staff to sign YAL’s petition on ending the mask mandate. A coalition of unidentified professors, Concerned MSU Faculty, also targeted Dean on social media.

A previous director and substance abuse counselor at MSU, Rick Winking, emailed Dean that he was a “stupid f***.” Winking told Dean in a subsequent email that his September 1 retirement had afforded him plenty of time to “f*** with dumb s*** whiners” like Dean. MSU IT programmer Edwin Little told Dean that students don’t have freedom when it comes to masks and called him “an ignorant a**hole.”

“Your freedom stops when it affects my health,” wrote Little. “This is a horrible, self-centered idea. You are an ignorant a**hole.”

Greg Lutgen, a plant sciences and plant pathology research associate, told Dean to “frigg off ya hoser.” “Hoser” is a Canadian derogatory term that can mean “idiot” or “loser.”

Seth Pincus, a chemistry and biochemistry professor, said Dean was a “selfish idiot” and blamed him for the necessity of mandates.

“Honestly, I think you are a selfish idiot who cannot even consider the potential suffering you can cause others, particularly the immunocompromised and children too young to be immunized,” wrote Pincus. “This is a serious disease. We have the tools to stop it. If you behaved as a citizen concerned about others, loved thy neighbor, and believed in the golden rule, we would not need mandates.”

MSU Montana Manufacturing Extension Center Senior Business Advisor Alistair Stewart told Dean to “grow up, and act your age.”

On Twitter, Concerned MSU Faculty told Dean that he wasn’t welcome on campus.

“Then go to another school,” wrote the coalition. “We don’t want your kind at MSU.”

It appears that the administration hasn’t been receptive to the students’ opposition, either.

Last week, YAL members and other MSU students attempted to deliver a petition opposing the mask mandate with over 1,100 signatures to MSU President Waded Cruzado. In footage obtained by The Daily Wire, two armed officers stopped MSU students at the entrance of Montana Hall, the administrative building housing Cruzado’s office.

“So, you have the right to do what you’re doing out there. You do not have a right to en masse – I started to smell some alcohol out there,” said one of the officers.

The students responded with confusion, saying they didn’t smell any alcohol.

“I’m just saying what I smell, okay?” reiterated the officer. “You want to make a delivery, you want to drop something off for somebody, you can make an appointment, that’s it.”

Dean explained that the administration had refused to make an appointment for two weeks and offered to show the officers the emails.

The officer explained that Cruzado wasn’t there. He repeated to the students that they could make an appointment to turn in the petition; Dean repeated that the administration had refused appointments with them.

“That is between you and them,” said the officer. “Today, you will not be coming in here. I strongly suggest that you make that appointment.”

At that point, Dean of Students Matthew Caires came out of Montana Hall and told the students he’d been directed to take the petition inside for them. Dean said he felt more comfortable accompanying Caires inside to deliver the petition. Caires said that couldn’t be done but promised “on his word” that the petition would be delivered to Cruzado’s secretary; the second officer further promised that their body cameras would record the delivery.

Dean turned down that offer. He promised to come back at a later time to deliver the petition himself.

In a separate interaction that wasn’t recorded, Dean alleged that one of the officers explained that school officials had ordered Montana Hall to be shut down prior to YAL’s protest.

Dean also revealed to The Daily Wire that he’d encountered Cruzado after the incident. The president reportedly told him that she’d been on vacation when the incident occurred, and wasn’t aware of why her colleagues had shut down Montana Hall.

YAL Chief of Staff Sean Themea told The Daily Wire that the pushback from MSU’s professors, faculty, and leadership hasn’t deterred them.

“This week, starting today, we’re having a group of students who are inspired by this fight to call the administration and start phone banks. We’re not going to quit,” stated Themea. “We just want students to be able to choose what’s best for their health.”

MSU didn’t respond to our inquiries by press time.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for The Daily Wire and AZ Free News. Have something you think the mainstream media won’t cover? Send tips to

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