LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Students at New Mexico State University are back in class for their first day back this semester.
While in class or other indoor buildings on NMSU campus, anyone on campus is required to wear a mask whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.
Students have mixed reactions on the rule.
“It’s great. Just a way to protect everybody,” said Gabriel Varela, a freshman.
“The institution is making us wear it in classrooms so I really feel like this whole thing is just a fluke,” said Sidney Kennedy, a freshman.
“If that’s what we have to do to be in person than that’s what we have to do,” said Maya Hammack, a freshman.
“I don’t think mandating is the answer at all,” said Jacob Roydecki, also a freshman.
By September 30, students and NMSU employees will have two choices. They can either be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly for COVID.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback. Some positive, some not so positive,” said NMSU Spokesperson Justin Bannister.
NMSU is still creating a way for everyone to submit proof of vaccines.
“We’re building that system so individuals can upload their information and we’ll have more information on that, once it’s finalized,” said Bannister.
Wearing a mask indoors is something NMSU said is the same as last year.
“A little different but not too different from what we saw last year. Masks were required on campus for all of last year. A lot of our students, a lot of our employees are already familiar with these protocols,” said Bannister.
One thing students agree on is being excited to be back for in-person learning.
“It’s a lot nicer to be sitting with people than to be sitting alone with your screen,” said Roydecki.
“Last year, I didn’t get the full experience of being in person so I’m really glad to be on campus,” said Hammack.
“It’s a great campus, really diverse environment. I do enjoy being here,” said Kennedy.
“Excited to see what is coming for me,” said Varela.
Masks are not required while outdoors on campus.