Lack of Masks in Midst of Mandate

Kira Loomis and Aubrie Koser

Bloomsburg University mandates masks with currently 7,758 students enrolled, with a total of 233 positive cases.

Brunozzi, the supervisor of Bloomsburg Health Center, says that there are “medical masks provided only for students who walk into the health center”. Other than that, the only other place known on campus that sells masks is the University bookstore. Brunozzi also suggested that “more buildings could promote the University store selling the masks since it seems like not many students know of it”.

On a day-to-day basis, the number of students that do not have a mask at reach to go to class is quickly proceeding.

With the rise of Covid cases, Bloomsburg in person class attendance rate has significantly dropped. According to the Bloomsburg fun facts page, there are more students enrolled online than past years other than Covid.

With more than 1,400 students enrolled primarily in online courses, Connor, a Bloomsburg student says, “Most of my classes are still online because I would never remember to bring a mask to class. He went on to say, “I changed most of my classes that were presented online that first week because of not ever having masks available for myself.”

According to Hannah, a current student at Bloomsburg, stated, “My first week at school I walked all the way to campus just to realize I did not have a mask.” Hannah then said she was 15 minutes late to class. The main three buildings that Hannah had thought should supply free masks are the health center, Scranton Commons and the students’ resources center for “quick and easy accessibility”.

Not only is the shortage of masks available to students interfering with students’ class time, but it is also interfering with students eating. Bree, a junior at Bloomsburg says, “I walked to the Scranton Commons just to find that I did not have a mask. I proceeded to walk into the Commons since I had figured they had to have one mask but there were zero”. This student said that this happened to her at least four times this semester so far.

Bloomsburg’s Assistant Vice Principal, Eric Ness, was interviewed about the issues students were having regarding their lack of masks. Ness listed the places on campus that have masks available. “You can buy a mask at the bookstore, you can go to the Dean’s office and get a mask there, and some of the offices have paper masks that are available.”

Ness believes that college students are held to a higher standard, “A part of going to college is growing up and maturing.” Ness continues to talk about how cloth masks were given out to all students when Covid-19 hit. He wraps up his interview by expressing how there are masks provided to students and staff in certain places on campus and it is a college student’s responsibility to always bring a mask to class.

There is no set future as to if the University is to supply free masks to students yet, but faculty and students especially are in high hopes for the upcoming semester.