Mask required indoors for all students, staff


Photo by Eva Laurens

Student Agnes Adams (right) and Community Advisor Evie Sue Ward (left) wearing their masks in the hallway of Sibley Hall.

Eva Laurens, Reporter

Despite university requirements, students have been seen without masks inside the common places in dorms and other areas on campus.

“The university values the safety of our students which is why we currently have an indoor mask mandate in place,” Director of Residential Life Ryan McDonnell said. “Our primary objective is to create an atmosphere in which students can continue to live on campus and have meaningful experiences both in and outside of the classroom.”

At the beginning of the semester, emails were sent regarding COVID-19 and mask requirements to every Lindenwood student and faculty member.

“Lindenwood continues to stress the importance of wearing a mask when indoors, especially as we enter the cold and flu season,” Director of Communications Julee Mitsler said. “Our students and employees have been well-informed about the policies on campus and our goal is to keep everyone safe.”

Masks have been proven to be efficient during this pandemic, and the vaccine has helped things move in a positive direction, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. But COVID is still a factor, even if the world is slowly getting back to normal.

“When students do not comply with safety protocol, they are indirectly promoting the spread of covid and ultimately delaying the removal of a mask mandate,” sophomore Gage Rowland said.

Whether some people got vaccinated or not, it does not mean that they cannot catch the virus. The vaccine is there to minimize the symptoms, to reduce the risk of severe disease and to help hospitals have fewer patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to National Geographic, most of the people who caught the virus while vaccinated had little to zero symptoms, but they can still spread it. That is why wearing a mask is still important, vaccinated or not.

To help enforce this, community advisers are now being asked to keep track of those who do not abide by the university’s regulations. 

“The school is having us write up students who do not wear a mask,” said Libby Nickel, a community adviser in Pfremmer Hall, who also sees a problem in her dorm. “They get three strikes. After they are written up three times we turn their name over to the Residential Community Coordinator.” 

“Lindenwood adjusted policies for the 2021-22 academic year to remove our outdoor mask policy,” Mitsler said. 

“Wearing a mask is not only for personal reasons, it’s for the people around you,” Rowland said.

Wearing a mask indoors is required by Lindenwood. To protect who is wearing it, but also those who are around this person. It is impossible to know if someone potentially has COVID or has been in contact with someone who has the virus, according to Healthline, since it takes a few days for the symptoms to appear or to get the COVID test result.

“The mask policy exists for the safety of the Lindenwood community and to ensure that the on-campus experiences and in class learning can continue throughout the year,” said Deb Ayres, Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “Note that failure to comply with this policy will result in consequences.  We sincerely hope this is not necessary. This is the last reminder and warning that will be provided on this topic.”