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COVID Compliance

A frequently asked question, “What are the expected guidelines for COVID-19?”

Below are three links to stay up-to-date on expectations.

Please remain alert to all University updates regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines.  It is a University expectation that all students and student organizations abide by these expectations.

We’re all in this together and we need your help in holding students accountable for making smart choices regarding social distancing and wearing masks. For our Student Code of Conduct to be most effective, we need the entire campus community to help hold others accountable.

As Chancellor Plowman previously stated, we remain committed to working with one another and using our Volunteer values for leading with courage. While we cannot predict what will come, we will prepare for it, and hold true to our Volunteer values for leading with courage:

  • Keep our community healthy and hopeful.
  • Keep students on track toward success.
  • Be creative. Be compassionate. Be flexible.

Addressing Face Covering Noncompliance:

Download Step-by-Step Guide

Understand and acknowledge your own feelings about your level of comfort with intervention. A willingness to intervene, if you choose to do so, is consistent with the Student Code of Conduct.

  • Is the individual inside or outside?
  • Are they in an enclosed space?What kind of space—elevator, study room, classroom, ballroom?
  • Are others around? If so, how many people and how close are they?

Intervene politely and in the spirit of compassion, flexibility, and creativity.

  • Inform the student of the requirement. Note that the use of face coverings is included in the Volunteer Commitment.
  • Remind students why face coverings and social distancing matter. Focus on the three key benefits: 1) protecting themselves and others, including those who are at high risk for serious illness, 2) helping to keep the campus open, and 3) reducing their chances of having to self-isolate because of close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Offer the student a university-provided mask if needed.

A student may indicate a medical concern related to wearing a face covering. To discuss accommodations to the face covering requirement due to a medical condition, students should contact Student Disability Services, and employees and visitors should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity.

  • Politely but firmly direct the student to leave the area if they are noncompliant.
  • Faculty and staff members have control over their spaces. In a classroom or laboratory, instructors can dismiss noncompliant students and mark them absent for the day. As a last resort, instructors also have the option of dismissing the class session.
  • If the student refuses to leave the space or becomes hostile, step away from the confrontation and contact UTPD for assistance. Do not contact UTPD for routine situations.

If attempts to change behavior are unsuccessful, you can report noncompliance to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards through the Student Conduct Incident Report Form. Document attempts to correct the behavior in writing.

Incidents where the student became hostile and UTPD was involved should be reported.

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will follow its process for investigating  noncompliance with university requirements.

Role of Student Conduct and Community Standards

Student Conduct and Community Standards will follow its process for investigating  noncompliance with university requirements. Regarding use of face coverings, the department will review:

  • Circumstances involving refusals to wear face coverings if attempts to change the behavior are unsuccessful.
  • Circumstances involving hostile, confrontational interactions about use of face coverings where UTPD had to be involved.

Every attempt should be made to educate students and gain compliance before referring to Student Conduct and Community Standards or contacting UTPD. If a referral is needed, use the Student Conduct Incident Report Form.

Social Gathering Guidance

Student organizations who host or organize a gathering that fails to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines are subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct. This is regardless of the size of the gathering and whether it is on or off campus. If a student organization hosts an event that places others at risk the following action will generally occur:

  • The student organization will be placed on immediate interim suspension of all social activities. Only virtual Chapter/organization/team meetings and virtual new member meetings will be permitted to occur.
  • If found responsible for hosting a gathering that fails to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines, a minimum sanction of suspension will be the recommended outcome for the student organization.

Individual students who host or organize a gathering that fails to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines are also subject to discipline under the Code and if found responsible, a minim sanction of suspension will generally be the recommended outcome.

Gatherings or events that fail to follow appropriate safety guidelines put everyone in our community at risk. Students and student organizations that fail to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines or expectations should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

This is not a new expectation, as our Student Code of Conduct specifically covers on- and off-campus conduct that poses a health and safety risk. But please be aware that in a pandemic the university intends to focus its enforcement efforts on those who host or organize social gatherings, formally or informally, that endanger the health, safety, or welfare of others.  For more information, please see Chancellor Plowman’s message regarding gatherings on and off campus and the Student Code of Conduct.