STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma State University is tweaking its policy on masks.
The university is “expecting” students to wear them, rather than just “encouraging” it. Also, there’s a new particular case where students would be required to wear them.
OSU leaders made the announcement at a virtual town hall Thursday.
The new policy goes into effect when a COVID-19 case breaks out in a class.
The instructor has three options of what they can do for the following two weeks after the outbreak.
“One, they can continue face-to-face, as is, with a requirement of masks in the classroom,” said Interim Provost Dr. Jeanette Mendez of the first option.
Secondly, instructors can do a mix of in-person and virtual instruction, with the in-person students required to wear masks.
Third, they can go fully virtual for two weeks.
Mendez said instructors are allowed to crack down if a student doesn’t wear their mask in options one and two.
“You can ask them to leave the classroom if they do not comply with that requirement or you can report the student to student conduct if there becomes an issue with them wearing the mask,” she said.
Some students are reacting negatively to the new policy.
“I don’t believe in it and I don’t believe giving the teacher the ability to mandate masks when schools aren’t allowed to mandate masks, I think that steps over the line a little bit,” said freshman Camryn Grabeal.
Others believe a full, campus-wide mask mandate is the only safe path forward.
“With as many people who don’t wear masks and the cases getting greater each week, I think it’s just going to get even worse if people don’t wear them,” said student Evan Howard.
About 100 OSU faculty and staff signed their names to a letter addressing the university president, demanding the requirement of masks, vaccinations, and quarantine periods.
University officials say they got the letter late Wednesday night and are currently reviewing it.