University lifts campus-wide mask mandate

In an email sent out Wednesday by President Geoffrey Mearns, Ball State University's mask mandate will no longer be in effect beginning this Friday.

MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink)– In an email sent out Wednesday by President Geoffrey Mearns, Ball State University's mask mandate will no longer be in effect beginning this Friday. Face masks will no longer be required inside campus buildings and vehicles starting March 4, 2022 at 5 p.m. 

Students are having mixed reactions after the decision to drop the campus-wide mask mandate that's been in effect since Fall 2020. In a statement sent via email to students, parents and faculty, Mearns said “The adjustment is justified by the sustained and substantial decline in the number of new infections."

Even with this statistic, some students are hesitant about the lift happening just before spring break.

"I think they should wait until spring break and see what happens then," junior Kayla Howard said. 

Other students have been looking forward to this decision following other Indiana universities.

"Students can see the face of their professors and professors can see the faces of their students,” said sophomore Nick Jones. “I feel like this will bring a lot more relations to the campus culture as well."

Although no one from the university was able to elaborate on the change, one source told Newslink Indiana through email: "The COVID-19 response plans for both students and employees have been updated to reflect the change in policy.”

Regardless of the change, some students will continue to use masks after spring break. 

"Personally, I feel like I'm going to keep wearing my mask because you're just not sure about what is happening these days,” freshman Zuri Jackson said. 

In addition to Ball State's statement, the Indiana Senate has endorsed a bill allowing administrative steps sought by Governor Eric Holcomb that could result in the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ending later this week after senators voted 32-18 Tuesday in favor of the proposal. The house and senate must still agree on a single version of the proposal before consideration. 

Holcomb's current public health order expires Friday. 

Contact Grace Bentkowski with questions or comments at gmbentkowski@bsu.edu.

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