Mask Mandate at Washburn lives on


Gabi Rodriguez

Nursing students, Ryanne Serrone-Brown and Reece Boland , study for an exam in Mabee Library while practicing Washburn’s mask mandate policy.

Following an extensive two and a half semesters of remote learning and zoom calls, Washburn University has finally opened its campus to entirely in-person classes. In the transition back to face-to-face learning Washburn is taking steps to create a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, faculty members and visitors. In doing so, Washburn has implemented a mask mandate.

Prior to the start of the fall 2021 semester, Washburn sent out an email mandating the use of masks beginning on Aug. 9. The email stated that the use of masks will be required indoors, regardless of vaccination status. However, individuals who are alone in workspaces and offices are not required to wear a mask. In addition to this, Washburn continues to promote social distancing, sanitation and disinfection.

“In order to prevent moving back to online learning, it is important to frequently wash your hands and stay home if you don’t feel well,” said Emily Munyer, a senior majoring in biology.

Munyer does not think it is necessary to mandate masks. “The fact that vaccinated people have to follow the same guidelines as unvaccinated people doesn’t serve as a positive incentive to make people want to go get vaccinated,” said Munyer. However, she agrees that the mandate has helped improve learning and college life from last semester.

What the university is doing to encourage students and faculty to get vaccinated is make it accessible for people to get on campus.. It is available through Student Health Services, which currently offers the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine by appointment, as well as testing.

Senior Ryanne Serrone-Brown, a nursing major, agrees that people who are fully vaccinated should have the choice on whether or not they want to wear a mask. However, she feels that Washburn is doing everything it can to keep people safe.

“I believe the mask mandate is ultimately the right thing to do to be able to continue with in person learning because I know a lot of people struggle with online learning,” said Serrone.

Like many other students who attend Washburn, both Serrone and Munyer said that their transition to online learning was difficult with unique challenges.

“My experience with virtual learning was not good at all. I find it extremely difficult to learn at home where there are way more distractions,” said Munyer.

With high hopes of returning back to life before COVID, it’s important for the Ichabods to do their best in abiding by the university’s mandates and guidelines.

Edited by:- Ellie Walker, Simran Shrestha, Kyle Manthe