Officials unclear on how campus mask mandate affects sporting events


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Fans cheer on the seniors during the presentation after the final game of the season at Charles Koch Arena.

UPDATE: Wichita State will now be requiring masks at sporting events

Officials remain unclear if masks and social distancing will be required for any upcoming sporting events on Wichita State’s campus. This news comes from the university announcing yesterday that all university employees must receive the COVID-19 vaccine, following President Biden’s order. 

“We’re gonna not be in a hurry and see what’s best for our fans,” athletic director Darron Boatright said. “They’re will be some pushback no doubt about it but the good news and bad news is that we’ve been through this exercise before. We’re going to try to make it as easy for them as we can but we have regulations to adhere to. When we open up our facilities and open up the university the most important thing is to keep it going business wise.”

WSU’s next sporting event is just nine days away, but no announcement has been made publicly about any protocols. Last year, basketball games initially started with no fans allowed to attend games, before it was increased to 25% capacity for men’s basketball’s regular-season finale. 

There have been no restrictions at any sporting events this year, including volleyball games and Shocker Madness. 

Boatright said he viewed the university’s announcement as a setback, although it remains unclear what precautions will be taken by the athletic department.

“I don’t want to minimize the battle of COVID by restricting it to games but I just think we’re back to some familiar areas that we don’t want to be in,” Boatright said. “As long as they’re mandated, we’re going to follow the mandates and what’s requested of us.”