University outlines restrictions for Fall 2020 semester


Maggie Tregre/The Lion's Roar

Face masks are distributed in building entrances for students and faculty in case they do not have one. Individuals must wear a mask when inside a building, according to new guidelines set by the university.

As part of an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, the university has announced new restrictions and guidelines as a result of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana.

Upon returning to campus, all faculty and students will be required to wear face masks/coverings and maintain a six-foot distance from others. 

The Student Safe Campus Guide outlines that face coverings should be worn at all times when inside any building on campus. It also lists the modifications made to campus buildings, including social distancing stickers, sneeze guards and seating limitations. 

In addition, buildings and classrooms have been modified to better accommodate social distancing guidelines. New signs reminding students and faculty to wear masks and directing foot traffic will be placed inside buildings. Each building on campus will also have limited entry and exit points. 

The Safe Campus Guide encourages students to bring their own face masks or coverings to campus with them. Masks will be available in each building in the event a student or faculty member does not have or has forgotten one. 

The university’s newly released policy on face mask/coverings found on their website stated that students, faculty and staff who refuse to comply with the on-campus mask mandate will face disciplinary action.

“Students found to be in violation of this policy will be afforded due process as prescribed in the University Code of Student Conduct,” stated the policy. “Failure to comply by vendors, contractors, visitors or patrons may result in loss of campus access and potential termination of the contractual or other relationship with the university.”

The policy also lists scenarios in which students are exempt from wearing a face covering: outdoor activities or events in which 10 or fewer people are present, occupancy of a student’s private vehicle, occupancy of on-campus living spaces or when eating in designated dining areas. 

Students with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering are also exempt from the mandate. According to the policy, such students must bring documentation to the Office of Disability Services to verify this exemption. 

Jeremy Brignac, director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, asked in the guide that students be flexible and understanding. 

“Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available,” said Brignac. “This may not be a straight path forward. We likely will have some stops and starts, so your flexibility and understanding will be essential to our success.”