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Revised BSU Indoor Masking Protocol – A Message from President Clark to Students

Office of the President
Wednesday 3/2/2022
Subject: Revised BSU Indoor Masking Protocol - A Message from President Clark to Students

 

Dear students,

As we enter a transition phase in the ongoing pandemic, BSU will be modifying some of its public health protocols following Spring Break:

Effective March 21, 2022, BSU is shifting to a mask optional policy, with some important exceptions, for indoor public spaces. These exceptions will continue until further notice and include:

  • Masks will continue to be required in classrooms, other instructional spaces and in public spaces throughout Maxwell Library. (Masking signs will be posted throughout the campus.)
  • Masks will be required on BSU Transit and the Wellness Center, as required by state law.
  • Faculty and staff have the option of requiring masks in their individual single-occupancy office spaces.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to mask in all indoor spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
  • The university reserves the right to require mask-wearing at any large, high-density, indoor event at its discretion on a case-by-case basis.

BSU is able to move in this direction as a result of the high vaccination rate on our campus and recent changes in CDC guidance and the latest Massachusetts Department of Public Health mask advisory. These changes to our protocols also were informed by the work of the Health and Academic Continuity committees of the Together Again Task Force.

While we are seeing very positive and hopeful trends, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still with us and likely will be for some time. BSU continues to strongly recommend that we wear masks in indoor spaces, although we will leave that to your discretion (except as noted above).

Our current indoor masking requirement will remain in effect through March 20. The week of March 14-18 will be considered a test-in week as we prioritize the safety of our campus community following Spring Break. Resident students will be required to either submit a negative rapid test within 72 hours of moving back to campus or to take a PCR test through the Wellness Center that week. During the test-in week, thousands of free rapid tests will be available at the RSU information desk for commuter students, faculty and staff who wish to test. BSU will continue to offer PCR testing through the Wellness Center for the remainder of the semester.

BSU also continues to require that all students and employees be fully vaccinated, including receiving a booster shot, and that all exempted students and employees continue to undergo weekly PCR testing.

Taking care of ourselves and each other as we transition from the pandemic. It has been a long two years. COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us, and we know that the pandemic has caused intense stress, anxiety and deepened emotional and mental health challenges for many of you.

You are not alone. We are here to help you.

Never be afraid to ask for the help you (and all of us) need at different times in our lives. BSU provides the support of caring and knowledgeable professionals, and all Wellness Center  services are confidential and provided at no extra cost to you.

We offer one-to-one and group counseling and workshops. Support is available to you 24/7, just call 508-531-1331.

We have online tools and support services. Togetherall is a virtual, peer-to-peer, anonymous support community, with students just like you, coping with many of the same concerns you have. WellTrack is an online resource that can help you understand your feelings of stress, anxiety and depression and teach you ways to manage these feelings.

Remember, the entire BSU community is here to assist you, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you need help.

You too can be a resource to your friends. You don’t need to be a trained counselor to notice when your friends are struggling with stress, sadness or anxiety and to help them in the moment. Taking our online Kognito mental health training  is a great place to start.

With Kognito, you can learn how to best support a friend or peer struggling with their mental health. Kognito's online, interactive training will help build your awareness, knowledge, skills and confidence when talking about mental health issues. Kognito uses simulated conversations to prepare you for real-life situations and conversations and only takes about 40 minutes to complete.

I truly hope you have a restful Spring Break. Stay safe, and I look forward to seeing you when you return.

Warmest regards,

Fred Clark signature
Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq.
President