KSC Students should know how to properly wear a mask by now

With indoor sporting events fully opening doors to spectators this semester, there has been speculation around how seriously the mask mandate is being enforced.

Recently, Keene State College men’s basketball had their home opener and it’s, once again, a very popular event amongst students and the community. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still a prominent issue facing the college, there are still mask and social distancing guidelines in place for indoor activities.

With that being said, recently observed behaviors at basketball games are something the college needs to recognize as disrespectful. The lack of proper mask wearing at those games has been observed and photographed by The Equinox on many occasions, and it shows negligence from the student body and outside spectators. Staff has also been seen ignoring the mask guidelines at these public sporting events, which should be flagged as a bad look for the school. When staff and students are ignoring the mask guidelines at their own school, it is counterproductive to the hard work the college is putting in to get us the privilege of attending athletic events at all.

The Equinox sees the indoor masking rules as necessary and imperative. They were put in place to prioritize the safety of the Keene State students and the surrounding community and spectators ignoring them is a blatant lack of empathy for the global situation. The amount of collaborative work that needs to be done regarding the pandemic is still large, and ignoring the mask guidelines is disrespectful to students who wish to keep the privilege of attending athletic events.

It is understood that signs, announcements and reminders are being scattered throughout the entirety of campus, but doubling down on mask enforcement should be among the first steps to improve the environment of basketball games. The option to utilize event staff to address spectators and inappropriate mask wearing should be on the table, as well as reminding staff attending the games that their job as representatives of the college should include upholding the rules it puts in place.

The repercussions of not properly wearing masks at indoor events should be reminded and enforced to spectators. It is required in classrooms for students to wear masks properly, and if they don’t they would be asked to leave. That policy should be applied and enforced at athletic events. It’s apparent that there is very little reinforcement at basketball games for mask wearing, but The Equinox thinks that for the greater good of the campus, doubling down on guidelines for events is something that should be at the forefront of upcoming updates.

Being able to attend these various indoor events is a privilege since we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Following COVID-19 protocols on campus should be a non-issue for the students and staff on campus, however the lax behavior surrounding masking guidelines clearly calls for an upgrade in reinforcement. The Equinox hopes the entirety of KSC starts to take responsibility for their lack of masking and that the freedom to attend games doesn’t get taken away because of the population of people who chose to ignore the rules.

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