Opinions divided as Simpson loosens orange phase restrictions


by Paul Hyatt, Staff Reporter

Now that orange phase restrictions have been loosened to allow every student to add an extra person to their family unit, varying opinions of these changes are beginning to develop.  

Rady Malcolm, a junior, says that these changes seem to be stepping in the right direction, but not far enough.  

“At the very least, they need to allow close friends and significant others because what’s the point when people are just going to go out and hang out anyway,” Malcolm said. “If it’s to limit the spread, you can’t stop them anywhere else. So stopping them in their room isn’t going to do much.”  

To Malcolm, these loosened restrictions seem to be minor when looking at how well the campus is doing in relation to COVID-19.  

“It seems like these were just very small changes, like throwing a dog a bone,” Malcolm said. “We might have zero cases on campus for the entire year, but we still won’t go into yellow phase unless Warren county as a whole goes down at a consistent rate.”  

Malcolm says that part of the frustration towards the guidelines to get into the yellow phase is that they are very strict. Alternatively, it is very easy to return to the orange phase once the campus is in the yellow phase.  

In addition to the changes made to the orange phase, Malcolm also says he is discouraged by other COVID-19 related policies on campus. 

“It seems like Simpson is pushing people off of campus. So, like the gym, for example. Why close the gym off to students?” Malcolm said. “All they’re going to do is go off campus where Simpson can’t control the spread, and then they are going to bring it back here.” 

Responses to the loosened restrictions have not all been negative, however. Jordan Baldwin, a senior, says he is happy with the changes.  

“I think that having less restrictions shows that we are moving forward in the right direction,” Baldwin said. “I think the changes have worked because it makes it more like a college experience while also safe.” 

Baldwin says he believes the college made the right decision by not going all the way to the yellow phase.  

“I think for now there shouldn’t be any changes besides adding another person to your family unit. We see so many people in class or passing that it can’t be safe now,” Baldwin said. 

Baldwin also says he is hopeful to be at the yellow phase in the near future. 

“Hopefully, we get to yellow in like a week or two,” Baldwin said. “We haven’t had any new cases, and when we do get a case, it’s only one or two, but I would love to be at yellow and have the most normal experience as soon as possible.”  

Casey Kociolek, a student who lives off-campus and commutes, says that the changes to the orange phase could potentially be very helpful for students like him.  

“I commute from Marshalltown, which is over an hour away, so I can’t just drive back to my apartment between those times,” Kociolek said. “Being able to visit with a friend will make life a little easier.”