Wear a Mask sign outside Fraser Hall (copy)

Along Jayhawk Boulevard, a sign reads, "Wear a mask." 

The University of Kansas announced via email that masks will now be optional on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses this upcoming school year, and classes will be back to in-person in the fall. There are positives and negatives of the return to normalcy, KU students said. 

KU also announced that fall classes would return to being in-person instead of remote learning. Having classes in person has many benefits, Kate Briscoe, a rising senior from St. Louis, MO studying elementary education, said. 

“I am actually very excited to be returning to in-person classes in the fall,” Briscoe said. “I have always been someone who works better in person, and I feel like being back in person will give me more structure throughout my day.”

Briscoe is also looking forward to in-person classes as she begins student teaching in the fall. 

“Student teaching in-person will allow me to have real interactions with the kids, and I will be able to get the full experience for what it will be like in the future,” Briscoe said. 

While Briscoe said she is thrilled to finally be back on campus and learning in a normal school environment, others worry about returning to in-person classes. 

Megan Feldman, a senior from Deerfield, IL studying social welfare, is happy to return to in-person classes because she misses KU’s campus, but she believes that the work will be difficult.

“It will be a challenge returning back to in-person classes because my work ethic has gone down significantly this past year while doing classes online,” Feldman said. 

Feldman said she struggled with online classes during the pandemic and felt like she was barely learning throughout the school year. 

“I had zero motivation half the time and sometimes wouldn’t leave my house for days because I didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to be,” Feldman said.

Emma Morgan, a sophomore from Deerfield, IL studying special education, is also excited that masks are now optional on campus this upcoming school year. 

“Now that I’m vaccinated, it will feel good to be back in class and not have to be stuck in a mask all the time on campus,” Morgan said. “I support wearing masks for the safety aspect of it, but it will be a whole different experience on campus going into my sophomore year not having to wear them.”

Feldman also said she is excited that masks are no longer required on campus anymore, but she does have a concern for the people at high risk of getting sick. 

“I feel like, for the students who are at high risk, it is probably scary for them because they don’t know who is vaccinated and who is not, so they have to be extra careful,” Feldman said.

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