Last week the City of Springfield passed an ordinance requiring face coverings to be worn in areas that are open to the public. Several exemptions are included in the ordinance. One such exemption carves out universities.
Even though we are not required to comply with this law, I think it is important that our policies are consistent with the spirit of the ordinance. It is also important that our policy is enforceable and protects the health and safety of our faculty and staff.
With all of these considerations in mind, we have developed a draft mask policy. 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. I encourage all of you to review the policy at your convenience and send me your feedback.
This policy requires masks to be worn throughout all academic buildings and in academic spaces in non-academic buildings. We added Meyer Library to the list of academic spaces based on your feedback.
The policy allows faculty and staff to determine whether to require masks in their private offices, and it allows campus offices not located in academic buildings to determine whether to require masks. I anticipate most will require masks be worn.
For example, Plaster Student Union is not an academic building, so the policy does not require masks to be worn throughout the PSU. However, the dean of students office — which is located in the PSU — has decided to require masks. This is a perfectly appropriate decision under the draft policy.
I encourage all campus offices in non-academic buildings to determine as soon as possible whether to require masks.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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