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COVID 19: Face Covering Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines

All members of the Bridgewater State University community and unaffiliated visitors to the campus are expected to comply with the directives of the CDC; MDPH; the executive orders of the Governor of Massachusetts; and all associated policies mandated by the University, including the wearing of an appropriate face covering. (See separate guidelines for a description of acceptable face coverings.)

Failure to comply may result — and a refusal to comply will result — in referral of a student or employee for potential corrective action through existing processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation: This and other BSU COVID-19 policies are subject to change at any time at the University’s sole discretion, consistent with updates and changes in recommendations and requirements from governmental authorities.

Policy Compliance and Enforcement

Students

Students are required to follow the University’s face covering requirements at all times when on campus. If a student is without a face covering (or is not wearing a face covering correctly, according to applicable guidelines), a University staff member should ideally first address the violation by way of a collegial reminder, or by offering the student a suitable face covering; or otherwise by making a polite request for compliance to educate and persuade the student to wear a face covering.

If a student refuses or otherwise does not comply with the face-covering policy, the staff member should refer the matter to the University’s Office of Community Standards.

The University has established a special email address that can be used for reporting issues involving students and face coverings. That email address is: safestudents@bridgew.edu. This email account will be monitored by the Office of Community Standards (although not necessarily in live time).

If the student states that they are unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition, refer the individual to the formal accommodation request process through the University’s Disability Resources & Student Accessibility Services and follow up by contacting Community Standards.

In the case of repeated violations or stated refusal to comply, the Office of Community Standards is authorized to remove a student from the residence halls, or the campus itself, as applicable and as necessary; in accordance with standard student suspension procedures.

 

In the Classroom (In-Person)

The faculty member in charge of a class is in control of the classroom. If a student is not wearing a face covering, the faculty member should ask the student to wear one. Lab-specific rules must also be followed, if applicable. If the student refuses or otherwise does not comply, the faculty member should politely request that the student leave the class. If the student fails to comply with that request, it is suggested that at that point the faculty member should excuse the entire class and report the incident to the faculty member’s department chair or dean. The matter should then be referred by the chair or dean to the Office of Community Standards.

 

Employees

All employees are expected to comply with the University’s face covering policy. This requirement is for the health and safety of employees themselves as well as their colleagues and entire the BSU community.

All University divisions and departments are required to ensure that all of their personnel have a thorough understanding of the obligations outlined in the University’s face covering policy. Employees should refrain from directly addressing non-compliance or perceived noncompliance on the part of other employees and should instead report issues to their supervisor.

Employees who do not comply should be reminded of the policy by their supervisor and provided additional education and training as needed.

If, after additional education and training, an employee does not comply, the responsible supervisor (department director, chair, dean, etc.) should contact the University’s Office of Human Resources and Talent Management to initiate the appropriate corrective action.

The University has established a special email address that can be used for reporting issues involving employees and face coverings. That email address is: safeemployees@bridgew.edu. This email account will be monitored by the Office of Human Resources and Talent Management (although not necessarily in live time).

If a staff member states that they are unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition, the responsible supervisor should refer the individual to the formal accommodation request process through the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and follow up by contacting Human Resources and Talent Management.

BSU vendors, such as foodservice employees, and outside contractors should be treated as employees for the purposes of these guidelines. Report issues involving vendors and contractors to safeemployees@bridgew.edu and the appropriate University staff members will be alerted to address the concerns with the vendor or contractor in question.

 

Members of the Public and Visitors on Campus

Begin with a polite request for compliance to educate and persuade the individual to wear a face covering. University personnel should ask the individual to wear a face covering, or have a supply of disposable face coverings to offer to individuals who do not have one. Signs indicating the face covering requirement for all who enter should be clearly posted at all entrances and on websites when possible.

If, following a request, the individual continues to decline or fails to wear a face covering, they should be politely informed that they are not permitted to remain on campus and should be asked to leave the premises.

Staff members should not put themselves into an unsafe situation while attempting to enforce the face covering policy, or attempt to physically block an individual or physically remove them from the space.

 

Police Enforcement as a Last Resort (All Categories – Employees, Students, Nonaffiliated Persons)

If all other measures fail, or if an individual becomes threatening or unduly confrontational, the BSU Police Department may be called for assistance as a last resort.

BSU Police officers are empowered to issue a $500 citation and to issue a no-trespassing order removing a person from campus, enforceable through arrest.

Updated 12/22/2020