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COVID-19 Mask and Social Distancing Guidelines (CSCU Board of Trustees)

(effective for the 2020-21 Academic Year or until rescinded)

The COVID-19 Mask and Social Distancing Guidelines are in effect to foster a safe learning environment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) cannot guarantee a disease-free environment, it is important for everyone to understand that we are in this together and it is required that everyone do their part to protect the health and personal well-being of others within our communities.  Therefore, the following rules are in effect:

  1. Masks and Face Coverings
    All students MUST wear masks or face coverings on campus, covering their mouth and nose. Students must wear a mask or face covering to enter and while present in any academic, administrative, residential, food service or recreational building.

    Additionally, students must wear masks or face coverings in any outdoor location on campus (including walking to and from class), where six (6) feet of physical (social) distancing is not possible.

    All traditional in-person/on-ground classes will be off-limits to students who refuse to wear face coverings or masks. Students are permitted to remove their mask or face covering to eat and drink.

    Students who do not want to wear a mask or face covering may only participate in remote learning and online classes.  If a student is not able to wear a mask due to a documented disability or medical reason, the student must seek an accommodation from Disability/AccessAbility Office prior to arriving on campus.

  2. Social Distancing Requirement
    Students must always maintain six (6) feet of physical (social) distancing on campus, whether indoors or outdoors. Residential students should refer to their Residence Hall Contract for further guidance on common areas and living spaces within the residence halls.

  3. Enforcement
    All faculty and staff share equal responsibility in enforcing these rules both in and out of the classroom. Should a student fail to comply and not wear a mask or face covering, or keep it on, after receiving a warning/directive to put it on (and they are not exempt due to receiving an accommodation from the institution), they will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct/Student Affairs for a disciplinary violation.

Students who fail to comply with the above rules are subject to immediate removal from the campus and the disciplinary procedures stated in the CSCU Student Code of Conduct.

Possible sanctions for disciplinary violations range from a warning to expulsion from the institution.

In complying with the Board of Regents face mask policy found above, Eastern Connecticut State University has reviewed additional guidelines from Governor Ned Lamont, the CDC, as well as our local conditions, to best manage health and safety on  our campus.  The key point in the Board’s policy is that face masks must be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.  In considering the degree to which social distancing can be routinely maintained on Eastern’s campus, the University has taken the following into account:

  1. Eastern has a large residential student population living in close proximity.
  2. Eastern’s buildings—including residence halls and classroom buildings—are tightly configured, with constant foot traffic from one to another.
  3. Given the size of the campus and its residential population, foot traffic density is high, especially between classes when students and faculty are populating hallways, walkways, and stairwells, making required social distancing difficult if not impossible.
  4. Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order 7NNN of August 14, 2020, indicates that face masks must be worn indoors or outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  5. CDC guidelines clearly state that the outside of a face mask should be considered “dirty,” necessitating washing/sanitizing one’s hands before and after putting a mask on. Taking one’s mask off and putting it back on throughout the day — based on the social distancing density of the moment —  would defeat the health protections provided by a face mask. 

Therefore, Eastern’s interpretation and application of Board of Regents policy is that everyone — students, faculty, staff and visitors — should wear a face mask at all times when on campus.  That is our policy, with the following exceptions noted:

  • When alone in private offices
  • In residence hall bedrooms
  • While eating in the dining halls

In adhering to this campus policy, our only intent is to keep you and those around you as safe as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work together to have a safe campus experience during these very challenging times.