By ALYSSA FANT
For the past year, masks have been a requirement on all Amarillo College campuses. On April 26, all that changed. Masks are now optional for AC students and faculty, so the question is, will people continue to wear a mask to school, or go the rest of the semester mask-free?
Many faculty members said they are greatly concerned for the safely of the people on campus and will continue to wear a mask.
“If I am in a group setting indoors I will wear my mask,” said Julie Beyer, the Nursing Resource Center supervisor. “I am surprised that it is optional with a few weeks left in the semester.”
Several students also said they feel that masks are just as important now as ever.
“I will wear them if they are required,” said Kylie Reep, a sonography major. “My little brother’s school is still doing masks and students are still getting COVID,” Reep said she thinks it’s disrespectful for some of her classmates to come to school without wearing a mask.
Reep works at a grocery store where it is mandatory for all the employees to wear a mask for people’s safety. She said she wishes that everyone could have the chance to go places even if they needed to have a mask on. “I’m so glad we get to go to school. I want to experience college and not be on a screen.”
Some AC students and staff said they are pleased the mask requirement has ended.
“I will probably bring a mask just in case,” said Kate Pybus, a mass media major. “I’m honestly more scared of the judgment I will face if I don’t wear one. I also don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but I think it’s good to let people choose.”
Many said they people agree that allowing masks to be optional is the most ethical choice.
“Making masks optional is an idea that affirms individual freedom,” said Macy Kohler, an algebra instructor. “Our country affirms and values the individual freedoms of its citizens,” Kohler said she believes that to make a blanket mandate on all citizens in every place to do a certain thing, no matter what that thing is, inherently takes away the freedoms that are affirmed in this country.
“I support masks being optional. For those who wish to wear a mask, it is their individual freedom to do so. For those who do not wish to wear a mask, it is their individual freedom to choose not to.”