MASK UPDATE: STUDENT BODY REACTS

YIGIT KACMAZ, TRUMPET NEWS AND CULTURE & DIVERSITY EDITOR

The mask mandate requirements have been relaxed on campus after a Sept. 17 e-mail sent on behalf of President Darrel Colson. The news had mixed responses on campus. 

Masks are no longer required in any of the hallways or in large spaces where one can distance themselves from the others or in offices unless the host of the office requires it, the email said. 

Masks will still be required in classrooms. However, masks are not required in residence halls.  

Colson came to a decision after several proposals and discussions with the Campus Health Recovery Team, which consists of 19 members of faculty, staff and students with Dean Dan Kittle being the chair. 

Head athletic trainer Ryan Callahan is one of the members of the Campus Health Recovery Team. 

“Anywhere that is considered congregate, so where we would have folks coming together, that would be considered high risk,” Callahan said. 

According to CDC COVID guidelines, individuals who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer with people with known or suspected COVID-19 are considered susceptible to the virus. 

“It is a difficult decision to make everyone on your campus feel good and be happy about it,” Callahan said. While the CDC guidelines are followed by the Campus Healthy Recovery Team, the updates did not satisfy everyone. 

“I do not feel safe because I know a lot of students are not vaccinated,” fourth-year journalism and communication major Alexa Ganzevald said. “When you are waiting in line [at Mensa] that can be kind of a concern, especially if they happen to cough or sneeze in your direction.” 

While some students are not satisfied with the update, some are enjoying the campus without masks. First-year Mohamed Temsah is happy with the new relaxing of masking restrictions. 

“We finally get to see each other’s faces in the hallway,” Temsah said. “We get to know who we are talking to.” 

“As of today, we’ve had a total of 12 cases associated with our campus community since August 11th,” Callahan said. 

The mask mandate was reinstituted in August as a way to stop the spread of COVID on campus. Masks were required in all public spaces, as well as in any residential halls or buildings students did not live in during the 2020-21 school year. 

For more information, contact Callahan at ryan.callahan@wartburg.edu or Kittle at dan.kittle@wartburg.edu. 

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