The Globe’s Point: Please be flexible with new masking policy

Last week in this column, before Point Park announced their changes to the mask policy, that “regardless of what happens, everyone must be flexible and understanding.” At the time of writing that, we had no idea what, if any, changes would be made to the mask policy.


We now know the changes that are being made. The President’s Office announced last Tuesday, before our most recent issue was on newsstands but after it was sent to print, that the mask policy would be shifting to be optional in all spaces on campus except for instructional spaces and elevators.


This decision is clearly being made with compromise in mind. For pro-mask people, masks are still being required in classrooms, places where students have no choice but to be, and elevators, which are easily the spaces on our campus that are most likely to result in possible exposures because of the tight nature of them. 


For anti-mask people, it may seem like we’re not keeping up with what other institutions are doing. Many other universities, both in the area and the country, are completely dropping their mask mandates. However, it’s important to keep in mind that our university is different from other universities. We are in a densely populated area and are a vertical campus. In fact,when we first asked the university administration about the possibility of the mask mandate being changed, the administration pointed out that the vertical nature of our campus presents challenges other universities don’t face.


In moments like these, it can seem very frustrating. We have no doubt this situation will continue to evolve and change, just as the nature of the pandemic has evolved and changed consistently for the past two years. Please know that whoever you talk to about this, whether on your side or not, is likely just as frustrated as you are. It is, at the end of the day, important to be patient, flexible, and understanding.