Penn State Could Potentially Close Recreational Facilities
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Recreation threatens temporary closure if students continue to not comply with the indoor masking mandate.
A few weeks ago, the university announced that face coverings would be required indoors on all campus facilities, regardless of an individual’s vaccination.
The indoor mask mandate has been enforced and continued since the return of campus activity in Fall 2020, however, it seems to be a struggle for frequent Penn State Recreational users to follow.
Many complain that it is hard to breathe while wearing a mask and engaging in physical activity, but the university views it as an absolute necessity in order to stop the spread of the virus and return to relative normalcy.
Sophomore Melissa Sicherman, a biobehavioral health major, has worked at the Intramural Building on campus since Spring 2021, and has noticed a recent increase in mask wearing rule breaks.
“It’s been really bad this semester compared to last,” Sicherman said. “We have slowly started to kick people out after plenty of warnings and reminders to completely cover their nose with their face coverings.”
If it gets to a point where on-campus recreational buildings will have to close, students who actively use these facilities as part of their everyday routine, like freshman nutritional science major, Emily Muench, will be highly upset.
As a student enrolled in Kinesiology 100, Muench uses the Intramural Building as a place to apply her educational skills outside of the classroom.
“I love learning about body movement in class, and then performing what we learned that day when I go to the gym,” Muench said. “Fitness is a huge part of my life and it’s definitely one of my biggest outlets when it comes to stress, a place to relax or just have an open space to do what I love.”
“If the facility were to close, it would be extremely bothersome having no place to continue my fitness journey, just because those around me can’t keep their mask on," Muenich added.
If concern continues to rise with the indoor mask mandate, the university might have no choice but to close all on-campus recreational facilities. By wearing a mask indoors and complying with University rules, you are playing a crucial part in a step forward towards a normal school year for everyone.
Emily Grill is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.