Valley updates mask policy

By Marc Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Effective today, students and faculty are no longer required to wear a mask in classrooms at Missouri Valley College.

Under the revised policy announced last week, masks are recommended and strongly encouraged, but not required, in all indoor classroom settings including classrooms, labs, and the Learning Center.

In the three weeks prior to the revision, there was not a single reported case of covid on campus. The mask mandate in classrooms had been in effect since last October. Leading up to the revision a number of students and staff members expressed their desire to see a change.

A major area covid has affected the past couple of years was the food industry. Bistro worker, Joshua Simon stated they do not have to wear masks while working at the Bistro, and how that should relate to the classroom. 

“If we can work in the bistro without wearing masks, I believe that we should be able to be in the classroom without them,” he said. “It is annoying we have to remember to bring a mask everywhere we go.” Joshua hopes that the mandate will be lifted soon.

Similar in size to MoVal, Central Methodist University currently requires masks throughout buildings. However, masks are provided for students in many of the campus buildings. This solves the problem that Joshua stated in forgetting masks. 

On a bigger scale, the University of Missouri lifted the mask mandate at the start of the Spring semester and recently rejected the university system president’s request to temporarily require masks as cases rise.

Inside the classroom, students are having trouble with learning while their masks are uncomfortable and the articulation in words is minimized by them.

“It is constantly running through my head how we have to keep these on,” senior Anna Minnick said. “It is hard to breathe in after a while.”

Students’ classes may last anywhere from 50 minutes to two hours. 

“It is difficult to understand my professors in some classes, especially when we are in bigger rooms with teachers who speak quietly,” Minnick said.

On campus, classrooms range in dimensions and student size. 

International office worker, Ana Paula Toreesbaca said masks often create communication issues.

“As an international student, my first language is not English, and it is harder to understand others as well as for them to understand me,” she said.

Paula works with international students on a daily basis for any needs they may have. 

“Their English isn’t good, it’s just that masks really prohibit me to hear properly while they don’t articulate as well,” Paula said.

Missouri Valley College has a large population of international students whose primary languages include Spanish, Koyukon (Denali), Serbian, and others. 

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