Missouri State Requires Masks in Academic Buildings

Missouri State University Clif Smart has announced a draft mask policy for the school.

Smart released the policy in his “Clif’s Notes” weekly posting on the Missouri State website.

“The draft policy will go into effect immediately on my directive, and I will present it to the Board of Governors for approval at their retreat in August,” Smart wrote. “I encourage all of you to review the policy at your convenience and send me your feedback.”

Smart noted that under the City of Springfield’s masking ordinance, the University is exempt from the regulations, but that the school wanted to comply with “the spirit of the ordinance.”

Here is Missouri State’s Draft Mask Policy:

Effective July 16, 2020, the City of Springfield implemented an ordinance requiring individuals to wear face coverings when present in businesses or other facilities open to the public (“Ordinance”). Although the Ordinance exempts institutions of higher education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommends that individuals cover their mouth and nose with a face covering that fastens below the chin (“Masks”) when around others.

Consistent with the Ordinance and CDC guidance, the university is implementing the following policy in order to prevent and/or slow the spread of COVID-19 among university community members. This policy is effective immediately and will continue through December 31, 2020, provided that the university president may modify the duration of this policy if needed.

Applicability of policy

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, and visitors, and requires all such individuals to wear Masks covering their mouth and nose as more specifically indicated below.

Masking is required in academic buildings

Masks are required to be worn in public spaces within academic buildings and other campus instructional areas, including hallways, elevators, stairwells, classrooms, restrooms, study areas, and other common areas, unless the Provost grants an exception for a particular academic activity for which masking is impracticable or contraindicated and alternative mitigation strategies are implemented.

For purposes of this policy, academic buildings and campus instructional areas include:

  • Art Annex
  • Bond Learning Center
  • Brick City
  • Cheek Hall
  • Craig Hall
  • Credo Dance Academy Studio
  • Ellis Hall
  • Glass Hall
  • Hill Hall
  • Karls Hall
  • Kemper Hall
  • Kings Street Annex
  • McDonald Hall and Arena
  • McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall
  • Meyer Library
  • Morris Center
  • O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center
  • Park Central Office Building
  • Plaster Center for Free Enterprise
  • Professional Building
  • Pummill Hall
  • Siceluff Hall
  • Strong Hall
  • Temple Hall
  • University Hall
  • Wehr Band Hall

Masking is required in other campus instructional areas

Masks are also required to be worn in academic classrooms and elevators within the following buildings:

  • Carrington Hall
  • Freudenberger House
  • Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • Hammons Student Center
  • Plaster Stadium

Masking is required in designated areas of higher risk

Masks are also required to be worn in certain areas of higher risks as designated by the university and indicated via signage. Additionally, Masks must be worn in certain designated departmental offices, workspaces, and conference rooms where physical distancing of at least six feet is not feasible.

Masking may be required in non-academic departments

In addition to those areas indicated above, non-academic departments may also require that Masks be worn within their common areas, workspaces, conference rooms, and/or individual offices. These departments will post signage communicating the masking requirements for their areas.

Masking may be required at certain activities and events

Masks may also be required to be worn at certain university activities or events that present a higher risk of transmission and/or where physical distancing of at least six feet is not feasible. In such instances, signage will be posted communicating applicable masking requirements.

Types and availability of masks

While disposable surgical masks and N95 respirators satisfy the requirements of this policy, due to the shortage of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for healthcare workers and other first responders, the university does not encourage their use by members of the university community.

Rather, individuals are encouraged to wear washable cloth face coverings, consistent with:

Such cloth face coverings will be provided at no cost to all employees through their cost center. Additionally, a limited number of cloth face coverings will be provided to designated locations and made available to students at no cost.

Exceptions to masking requirements

In the event that an individual cannot wear a mask due to an underlying disability, they may initiate the university’s interactive accommodations process in order to request a “reasonable accommodation.” Students who wish to request an accommodation may contact the Disability Resource Center, located in Meyer Library, Suite 111, and available at DRC@MissouriState.edu; 417-836-4192; or TTY 417-836-2792. Employees who wish to request an accommodation may contact the Deputy Compliance Officer, located in Carrington Hall, Suite 205, and available at JuliaHolmes@MissouriState.edu; 417-836-6755; or Relay Missouri at 711 or 800-676-3777.

Enforcement of masking requirements

Students who have not been granted an accommodation and who refuse to wear a mask while in the classroom or other academic settings are subject to administrative withdrawal, consistent with Op3.04-11 Class Disruption. Additionally, students who fail to comply with this policy in areas outside the classroom or other academic settings are subject to disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Employees who have not been granted an accommodation and who refuse to comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Conflict with other university policies

Notwithstanding the masking prohibitions set forth in G5.02 Expressive Activity Policy and Op1.01-1 University Rules for Speakers and Facilities Usage, individuals engaging in expressive activity on campus may wear masks that cover their mouths and noses as long as this policy remains in effect.

(Headline photo courtesy Missouri State)

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