No Need Masks!


Tyrael Goo

Seniors Anya Chen and Solana Isgar walk down from Kawaiahao with optional masks outside.

Mid-Pacific Institute will no longer require masks starting September 1 for all students and faculty in indoor and outdoor spaces. 

The news brought swift reactions from the administration and students. 

“I am most excited about being in a place where we can say that safety is achieved, has been achieved, and now we are elevating the importance of relationships,” said President Paul Turnbull. 

The decision was not made lightly.

“We determined that for the safety and well-being of the campus we wanted to have at least two weeks of data once the students returned and the employees returned to see what our Covid numbers looked like,” said Leigh Fitzgerald, Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

While the administration expressed the decision was made with safety in mind, some students remain concerned about their safety in the classroom once masking becomes optional. 

“I understand that people feel that the masks are restricting, but it [removing masks] also creates an unsafe environment,” said senior Tyler Leong. 

Other students felt the decision was the right choice. 

“The correct response should’ve been to end it effective immediately, but this is a step in the right direction. If celebrities can go maskless in their Las Vegas/LA nightclubs, kids should be able to unmask at school,” said junior Jonah Gillia.

Junior Kate Bartholomees said she’s personally indifferent about dropping the mandate. 

“I don’t really mind, but as long as you’re aware of your own health, it’s fine. Give people their space,” said Bartholomees.

Being able to see people’s faces after two years may improve the integrity of the relationships in our community. 

“I am pleased that students and employees who choose to unmask will be able to smile at one another and that all of us might have the chance to connect through facial expressions once again,” Fitzgerald said.