COVID-19 guidelines, effective?

By Rayana PetroneDigital Editor

The return to campus amidst the COVID-19 pandemic means the return of on campus guidelines and restrictions, with some being seen as more effective than others.

One COVID-19 guideline that has been rather inconsistent is the mask requirement on campus. At the time of print, the city of Newton has implemented an indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status for residents. As a resident student, I feel as though having the mask mandate be in agreement with the surrounding area would make sense.

Another faulty guideline has to do with the restrictions regarding capacities in residence halls. I feel as though this guideline indirectly targets underclassmen who are lower in the housing lottery and in turn often end up in the smaller dorm rooms. In turn, they are unable to have as much social interaction in their rooms as upperclassmen who commonly reside in the bigger residence halls on campus.

One precaution the university has taken that I agree with was the requirement of all students and faculty to be tested for COVID-19 throughout the month of September. Being tested weekly gave me peace of mind while at school in such unprecedented times, especially after living on campus last year, it became part of my weekly routine.

As of October 1, the university has decided to end this requirement moving forward, which is a decision I think was made too soon. While the university is still providing testing and encouraging the community to get tested, I do not feel as though this will be utilized well enough.

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