MSU asks students, staff to report COVID-19 safety violators to misconduct hotline
Correction: MSU updated the percentage of classes in the fall to be 49% online, 37% in-person and 14% hybrid. That information was incorrect in a previous version of this article.
LANSING — Plans are in progress to resume classes on campus at Michigan State University and the university is asking everyone who returns to campus to study, teach, work or visit to follow a list of guidelines and procedures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The MSU Community Compact includes safety requirements, like wearing face coverings while on MSU property, keeping at least six feet of space from other people, frequently washing hands and using sanitizer and self-monitoring for flu-like symptoms, according to a letter from President Samuel Stanley Jr. posted on July 22.
Those witnessing violations are asked to report them to the MSU Misconduct Hotline. Violators will “be subject to disciplinary action in the same manner and magnitude as violations of other university policies,” according to the compact.
“Protecting the health and safety of MSU students, faculty, staff and visitors requires the cooperation of all members of the community, not only through personal compliance with the Compact, but to encourage others to comply,” according to the compact.
Students and instructors likely will see a mix of on-campus and online courses. Administrators ordered professors to adjust their classes so that out of all classes, 49% will be only online, 37% will be in-person and another 14% will be hybrid classes comprised of online and in-person elements.
First among the requirements is wearing a mask that covers the mouth and nose both indoors and outdoors while on campus or at MSU-sanctioned events. MSU officials previously announced that everyone on campus would be required to wear facemasks, but exceptions have since been added, including for those with health conditions that could prevent them from safely wear a mask; when inside private, single-occupancy offices or lab spaces with a closed door and without the expectation of anyone else coming inside; and while eating or drinking while practicing social distancing.
Anyone working outside and maintaining a safe distance and anyone exercising outside while practicing social distancing can also be exempt from the mask rule, among several others.
The compact additionally requires heightened hygienic practices, such as handwashing and using sanitizer. Students and staff will be required to regularly clean and sanitize their work and living spaces.
It will be the responsibility of individuals on campus to monitor their health for signs of COVID-19 infections. They will be required to remain at their residence and contact a health care provider to determine what to do next if they find signs of possible exposure or if they are exposed to the coronavirus.
Students will face discipline according to MSU General Student Regulations following any reports of breaking the rules of the compact. Human resources policies cover any cases of non-compliance for MSU employees.
“It’s a way for the university to reinforce our expectations for all who visit our campus,” said Dan Olsen, MSU spokesperson. “We want to make it clear what our expectations are.”
The expectation is to make stopping the spread a “personal responsibility effort,” Olsen said.
Students are expected to learn about the compact from MSU Residence Education and Housing Services staff and MSU Student Life staff, while MSU leaders, supervisors, managers and facilities managers will educate employees.
“It’s upon us all to adhere to the community compact so we can have a successful semester,” Olsen said.
Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.