Penn State students react to new mask mandates
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Recent changes have been made to the mask mandate that is in place at Penn State campuses.
The University has removed the mandatory mask-wearing in all common areas on campus. This adjustment does not apply to classroom environments. Students and faculty are still required to wear masks while in class and labs. This development went into effect on Mar. 7.
Students may feel that this is a step towards a normal life after two years of the implementation of masks. Mask wearing has become a part of the daily routine and this might be unusual to some people.
It’ll take quite some time to get accustomed to seeing people every day, in areas like the HUB-Robeson Center, without a mask on. The lifting of the mandate can have the opportunity of bringing the Penn State community closer as we all acclimate to the new routine.
Kyle O’Brien is preparing to adjust to seeing everyone without a mask.
“It is going to be a little bit weird seeing people who I have seen everyday wearing masks, not wearing masks anymore,” O’Brien (second-year — kinesiology) said. “It’s going to take time to get used to that and get back to normal, but I am excited for what that is going to look like.”
This decision may be something students have looked forward to, but the COVID-19 disease continues to be present in our lives. While it may be seen as an appropriate form of action taken by the University, there is a chance this could raise COVID cases back up.
“I feel like it doesn’t really make sense to have no masks in one building, but then you have to put it on in the classroom. It might make the professors feel better,” Danielle Rizzotto (second-year — public relations) said. “I just really think that if you’re going to remove it, you should remove it everywhere.”
There remains confusion surrounding the alteration and why the mask mandate can’t be completely lifted in all areas.
With the hope that this change will be effective, the end goal would be to have masks removed from life completely. There is no set timeline of when this could occur or be determined safe by the CDC.
Prepare for what might feel like a different campus and stay updated on any further rulings made by the university.
Kennedy White is a second-year majoring in Public Relations. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org