On Aug. 18, the Elmhurst University COVID-19 Task Force sent out an email announcing that masks would be required for all people, vaccinated and unvaccinated, on the EU campus, with exceptions in private offices or while eating in the cafeteria or the Roost.
According to an Associated Press poll, 6 in 10 Americans support mask requirements for K-12 students. But does that support transfer over to higher education, from EU professors and faculty?
Amy Lyn McDonald, assistant professor of dance at EU, believes masking is a positive step toward dealing with COVID-19.
“Science shows it helps. It’s a small inconvenience, but worth it. You don’t know everything with the Delta variant,” said McDonald. “If my dancers can wear them for hours, other people can.”
McDonald also said that she would rather be masked and be in-person than to have no masks and be shut down again.
Richard Rivard, EU adjunct professor, teaches one class on campus, and also supports mask requirements.
“I have been a strong proponent of masking since the beginning of the pandemic way back in March 2019,” said Rivard in an email to the Leader.
Rivard says that he feels protected from COVID-19 while teaching due to his being vaccinated and remaining distanced from students, but that he would like to see more spacing.
“Masking by the students helps, but I’d like to see more spacing of the students themselves. I do not exist on an island, and I care deeply about the health and well-being of my students.”
In the admissions department, George Martinez, admissions counselor, holds a similar perspective — wishing mask requirements were not a thing, but maintaining that everyone should be involved in bouncing back from COVID-19.
“While many of us are vaccinated, there are others who are not, or transfers who might live with immunocompromised people,” said Martinez in an email. “While I’m vaccinated and (selfishly) wish masks weren’t required, I know we should all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.”