Campus indoor mask policy unchanged, but some students remain confused
Photo of Clemence Trevedy, a foreign exchange student from France, taken in Fall 2020 by Catalina Garcia
By Leah Quintero, staff editor
Erick Gee, a computer technology major at California State University, Dominguez Hills, walked into his first class of the semester assuming masks weren’t required, not after LA County decided not to re-impose its mask mandate a month earlier
However, he quickly learned that masks are in fact required for all students and staff in both classroom and laboratory settings.
“I went in thinking they wouldn’t be required anywhere anymore, only to find out they were requiring one while in class,” Gee said in response to a Bulletin reporter’s Facebook post asking whether students were confused about the protocols.
Gee wasn’t the only student who was unaware of the campus policy requiring masks for anyone in classrooms or labs. Corrine Judisch said in her response to the Facebook post that she was the only student not wearing a mask when she stepped into her first class. And Vera Vu, who also walked into her class maskless, asked for further clarification in the Facebook post on whether masks were mandatory.
The confusion wasn’t limited to a few posts on Facebook, and didn’t only involve students. At the end of the first week, CSUDH’s Provost Michael Spagna sent an email to all faculty reminding them of the campus policy.
“Students will take social cues from you about the expections that come with different contexts,” Spagna said in his Sept. 2 email. “Even if you feel personally comfortable in social settings, your students and other faculty may
not, and consistency matters.”
Spagna’s email contained the only other campus-wide notification since last semester of the continued mask mandate from Deborah Wallace, vice president of administration and finance.
“As we prepare for the start of a new academic year, health and safety remains a top priority for our campus community,” Wallace said in her Aug. 11 email to students. She also explained that CSUDH was keeping the mask mandate because it was following the Los Angeles County Health Department’s Institutions of Higher Education protocols, which highly recommend masks for all persons in indoor settings.
Other CSUs in LA County, in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Northridge are also requiring students and staff to wear masks in classrooms and laboratories.
CSUDH Vice Provost Ken O’Donnell said considering most instructors and students are returning to campus after a three-month summer break in which they didn’t have to follow any masking protocols, some confusion is to be expected..
“Realistically, I think that confusion will be with us for a while, and so you’re likely to see more occasional reminders, and not just by email,” he said. “ For half a year our policy hasn’t changed, but off campus people get used to different expectations.”
Here are some other components of the campus mask and COVID-19 policies:\
*Individual departments may not enforce different or additional COVID-19 safety protocols that exceed the campus protocols.
*If a student forgets their mask, they can pick one up between 8 a.m., and 5 p.m.at the Physical Plant near parking lot seven, the Residence Hall Commons, the Student Health Center located next to Welch Hall and the Toro Welcome Center.
*Mask dispensers have also been placed near elevators or in entryways of buildings that do not have elevators.
*Testing kits are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in room A-120 in the Student Health Center. It is advised to access the Student Health Center from the back of the building so as to limit any possible social interactions.
.For more COVID-19 related information and updates, visit the Toros Together website.