How Rockhurst’s most popular gym has handled mask and vaccine protocols this semester


Photo courtesy of Matthew Sichkaruk

Danielle Barry, Reporter

The Magis Activity Center is somewhere most active students enjoy going to. The new equipment and cool view of campus is exactly what a lot of students want when they are working out. Since COVID-19 has happened, the MAC has been a controversial topic throughout campus. Masks have been required at some points and other times not. Now, you are required to wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to wear a mask. Many people have not been wearing them even if they aren’t fully vaccinated. People were pulling their masks down while they worked out even before some people were allowed to go maskless.

“I understand the need for a mask if you are unvaccinated. Every person has a right to be at the MAC. If others are immunocompromised and you are positive for the virus, you are putting them at risk along with anyone else,” said an anonymous student who is a frequent visitor.

There has been a lot of back and fourth of what the rules are. The city mask mandated was lifted in February, so why has the school not lifted theirs? This has a lot to do with how close you are in the MAC and also how germs can be spread easily because you are touching
gym equipment that has also been touched by other students. According to The World Health Organization, alcohol does not kill the COVID-19 virus. This means that the wipes in the gym are not helpful to stop the virus after others are touching it.

Vaccinations have played one of the most important roles in the decision of Rockhurst to be mask-free, even in classrooms most recently. Vaccines have been proven to help reduce the spread of the virus and also help make the symptoms less severe, but some students think this is taking their rights away by forcing this on them. Many students have voiced their opinions via social media about how they think the vaccine should not be required for all students.

“Getting vaccinated will most definitely help reduce the spread, but it should not be required for all students. Everyone here has a choice and that should not be taken away,” says another anonymous student.

There has been much controversy about if the vaccines actually help or if they could cause other problems. Masks have also caused controversy. Recently, the school has removed the requirement of masks in the hallways of the buildings, but not in the classrooms. Since this did not make the number in cases spike, they have recently sent a survey to the students asking what their thoughts on removing all masks from the school. It is still unsure if that will be happening, especially after spring break with many students traveling.