No mandate: Univ. of Iowa students can decide when mask is needed

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It’s the law in Iowa that there can be no local mask mandates passed. The Iowa City Mayor has declared an emergency, and that masks are required. Under rules from the Iowa Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Iowa, there will be no mask mandate.

The school was given some encouraging messages from new University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson.

“As part of the new Hawkeye family please, please, please get vaccinated,” said Wilson in a recorded video. “If you aren’t already, we have places for you to get vaccinated for free, easy to do no questions, the second thing I’m gonna ask all you to do is wear a mask when you’re indoors.”

Students on campus have thought about how they will react.

“I think the big difference this year is that it comes down to more of an individual’s choice, whereas like before we were having everything was mandated,” said J.P. Vranas, a second-year student at the university.  “There’s different groups of people in different percentages of them are masked, so you kind of got like different pressures, I don’t know.”

“Like they can’t make you wear them, so the teachers are wearing them and then like half the class is, the other half isn’t,” said senior Allison Kuzara. “I’d rather wear a mask, and have class in person just I don’t want to be online again we’ve been online for like a year and a half.” 

“At the start of Covid then I wore a mask and I felt weird because it’s like it’s wrong no one else is doing it as a human if you’re not doing the same thing another person is doing,” said Tiger Slowinski, a second year engineering student from Wisconsin. In emails, the Dean’s messages they are basically saying wear a mask without saying wear a mask.”

“It’s sometimes, it’s confusing because I am in the Tippie School when I walk in there a lot of people are not wearing masks some people are some of the teachers are so sometimes it’s confusing,” said Daniel Hospodarsky, a business major from the Chicago area. “They said masks are like encouraged, but not really required so sometimes it’s confusing whether they wear one or not.”

“If you’re sick stay at home though,” said senior Lexi Gehrich.

Students say even with a little confusion, they are glad to be on campus and having classes in person.

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