New COVID-19 Protocols: Masks not required in classrooms


Katie Coen

Quinnipiac University students were alerted on July 8, 2022 that they would no longer have to wear a mask inside the classroom.

Senior Medical Advisor for COVID-19 Dr. David Hill says the mask discussion began last January and now the university has decided to give students the choice to wear a mask in the learning environment.

“We are hopeful that we can move to the fall without masks being required in the classroom,” Dr. Hill said. “There was a debate amongst us and amongst the faculty to whether or not we should allow a faculty member to require a mask in the classroom… we picked a middle ground of letting faculty request masks for their classes, but not requiring it.”

Hill explained that professors and faculty can request that students wear a mask in their classroom, but it is not reinforceable. 

“I hope that students and faculty and staff, that we all respect each other at Quinnipiac and we respect the decisions that are made by others,” Dr. Hill said. 

Max Koesterich, a second-year marketing major from Massachusetts, is excited to experience what college is like without masks for the first time.

“I’m ready to go to class without a mask on,” Koesterich said. “I’ve been waiting a year for the real college experience and I think I might finally get it.”

The booster vaccine is also no longer required for incoming students, but Hill says this could change.

“We just didn’t feel that it would be worth requiring at this point,” Dr. Hill said. “Now, if there is this really good booster coming out in the next three months or so that can cover all variants and perhaps new variants, then we might change our tune on that.”

Furthermore, if a student living on campus does test positive for the virus, they will be asked to quarantine at home. According to Hill, there will be limited isolation housing for students who are unable to go home. This will be evaluated by the university on an individual basis. 

If a commuter student tests positive, the university requests they upload that information to Student Health Services for the health and safety of the Bobcat community.

Student Health Services will have tests available for all students. The COVID-19 test vending machine will also be available. 

Hill explains that all these decisions have been made for the well-being of students and hopes for a successful and healthy semester. 

“The decisions have been made based off where we are as a university and as a state with COVID, and our previous experience with COVID in the spring semester,” Dr. Hill said.

Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett says he is “cautiously optimistic” for the fall semester. Even though Ellet says it’s possible for these protocols to change, he believes the removal of the mask mandate may encourage students to become more involved on campus. 

“At this moment, I would think that people will feel more willing to participate and willing to join into things than they may have felt a year ago at this time and certainly two years ago at this time when we didn’t allow it,” Ellett said. 

Many students are eager to have a more normal year with the same Bobcat traditions in place at the university.

“I hope this year is as close to normal as we have been,” Koesterich said. “Not wearing masks in classes is the next step in getting back to normal.”