HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Marshall University student went back to class Monday without the mask mandate.

During the summer, the campus was under a full mask requirement mandate. The university says they were just following the guidelines of the CDC like they’ve been doing since the start of the pandemic.

Now, since the campus is in the orange category, those masks are optional for students. And one student who was on campus during the recent mask mandate says this is the perfect way to kick off the school year.

“I like it a lot better. I think it gives people more of a choice with what they want to do instead of requiring them to do it,” said sophomore, Braden Copley.

Another student described going to her classes today and seeing everyone as groundbreaking.

“I feel like noses is the new shock. Cause when people show up to class and you know them, you’re seeing their face for the first time ever and you make your own imagination of what this person looks like – so it’s kind of like groundbreaking in a way,” said junior, Jasmine Waite.

Marshall University President Brad Smith says this will provide students with a better experience.

“The entire college experience is about having the opportunity to engage with your peers, to get a chance to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine, attend classes, learn from these amazing faculty and that’s what it’s all about and the college experience is back at Marshall University,” Smith says.

Right now, the CDC show the community level for Marshall University is in the orange – which is a medium level.

So, masks are recommended indoors but not required.

This applies to all of the buildings on campus here except for the health sciences buildings where masks are still required.