(WTNH) – For the first time in more than two years, masks are no longer required in classrooms and other instructional settings on the UConn campuses and all of the Connecticut State University campuses.

There may be an air of sadness over the UConn women’s basketball team loss, but students who’ve wanted to take masks off can finally do that.

UConn women’s basketball didn’t become national champions as they hoped, but the lady Huskies will return to big changes on campus.

“Clubs are back into swing. I can go to different clubs. Gyms, I don’t have to wear a mask there anymore. It’s great. I can only hope that it works out,” said Daniel Laudati, a sophomore.

UConn and state universities drop mask mandates

Connecticut’s flagship university lifted the mask requirement on Monday, citing low COVID_19 positivity rates on campus and across the state. It’s a move welcomed by students who’ve had anything but a traditional college experience.

“Ever since I’ve been here as a freshman, we’ve had to wear masks in the dorms, outside the dorms. I’m really excited to have no masks and get to see familiar faces around,” said Lauren Young.

Masks are still encouraged inside the classroom. Staff members appreciate the freedom to choose.

“When I’m outside, I don’t wear my mask, but when I’m indoors and around a lot of people, I still wear my mask. I just feel it’s comfortable for me and I’m thinking about other people as well,” said Michelle Morse, a staff member.

All 17 of Connecticut’s state colleges and universities, including Southern, Eastern, and Central, also dropped masks on Monday.

“I transferred here from Eastern Connecticut my first year and they were very tight on lockdown stuff. You could not do anything here. UConn is such a big campus. It’s really nice to see it open up again,” Laudati said.