In 2020, we are constantly bombarded with messages — whether we realize it or not.
Market and brand executives spend hours crafting social and traditional media campaigns, so their products, brands or values subconsciously seep into the minds of consumers.
While some may like to think, “That doesn’t work on me, I’m smarter than that…” you are wrong.
My social media feeds are filled with the ongoing argument of wearing a mask. Shippensburg University recently posted a video of students interviewing campus community members asking why they wear masks.
These students explained their reasons and showed viewers how to properly wear a mask.
The university is consistent in its masking policy —you wear the mask the right way, you stay on campus. It is a simple concept; however, many of my peers seem to be struggling to understand.
As the leader of The Slate, I find myself constantly running around campus. Whether it is for an event with another reporter, delivering newspapers or attempting to attend my classes, I see a lot of the campus and my peers.
It must be noted that there are significantly fewer students on campus this semester. As a commuter, I am able to get a parking spot in the first two rows at any time of the day. Outside of the pandemic world, this is nearly impossible. It appears as if a large chunk of the student body is attending remotely.
Around campus, I am happy to report that I see students “doing their part” by correctly wearing masks, wiping surfaces and maintaining social distance.
Yet, I must point out that there is a portion of on-campus students who are not abiding by the mask guidelines.
Sure, we all need a few moments to take the mask off to briefly breathe a little easier or eat a quick meal. I am guilty of removing my mask to catch my breath after climbing the steps to The Slate office in the Ceddia Union Building. However, I remove my mask once seated 6-feet away from others behind a plexiglass barrier, when I am ready to eat or need to catch my breath.
Unfortunately, I see some of my peers walking around campus with masks under their noses, chins or completely hanging off their faces. Faculty, staff and administration officials instruct these individuals to “mask up” and they usually comply. Student-workers such as resident assistants and lab workers do the same, but the level of compliance is not always equal.
Students wander across campus with masks below their noses or around their chins. I was at an event at which a university official instructed a student to properly wear his mask and the student abided. I was in a similar situation, except a student worker replaced the high-ranking official. The response was less than ideal and certainly not showing “Raider Respect.”
We have received emails from university officials warning of closure if students do not make an effort to comply with the guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials report that masks do work, especially in settings where people are close to one another and social distancing is not achievable. We must wear our masks when interacting with others both on and off campus.
But the need to wear your mask and show “Raider Respect” does not end after you get in your car and leave campus.
Everyone knows the COVID-19 coronavirus does not spread off campus at parties, right?
While we see the messaging from campus community members about wearing our masks during the week, we see a different message on the weekend.
One sees the social media posts and has to wonder, “Do they really live with those 15 other people?”
We as students cannot complain when the university officials are forced to shut down the campus when these are the messages we communicate.
Be consistent in your communication and the messages you send. Oh, and wear a mask while you are at it.