Who will make sure that students follow safety guidelines? What if a student refuses to wear a mask or follow other safety guidelines in class?
By following University and CDC guidelines for masking, social distancing and hand hygiene, students can have a direct impact in mitigating the potential for the virus’ spread. Students are asked to take personal responsibility both on and off campus, as agreed to in the Penn State COVID-19 Compact, to help uphold the health of the community by following University guidelines.
Mask wearing and social distancing is required in class and there is guidance available to help maintain a safe classroom environment. Classroom Guidance for Instructors is posted on the website of the Office of Student Conduct. This document describes steps faculty can take to provide a positive learning environment and manage COVID-related concerns in the classroom and includes steps that faculty can take if a student fails to adhere to health and safety requirements. For more information on how to manage classrooms, watch this video featuring Danny Shaha, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.
Instructors and faculty should first ask any unmasked or non-socially distant students to comply. When students fail to comply in the classroom, faculty members can refer students to the Office of Student Conduct, or call 814-863-0342, and students will not be allowed to return to class until the matter is addressed through Penn State’s conduct process. Additionally, if a faculty member should become aware of a COVID-19 related violation, a referral may be made to the Office of Student Conduct. Faculty do have the authority to, and will be supported in, asking non-compliant students to leave class.
Similarly, Penn State staff should report student violations of COVID-19 safety requirements within office settings to the Office of Student Conduct, which has posted COVID-19 Office Guidance on its website.