As campus grows closer to reopening, Clemson University is making an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through the spread of information.
“All of our activities are going to follow the same mechanisms: informing, educating, asking [students] to adhere,” said Clemson University Police Chief Greg Mullen in a phone interview with The Tiger this week. “We need to get everyone to play their part — wear a mask, social distance, stay healthy. Your actions can prevent both yourself and other people from getting sick.”
The University is emphasizing voluntary compliance, particularly for the face covering requirement. The City of Clemson face covering ordinance that has instituted a $25 fine for noncompliance has seen its enforcement grow in recent weeks as well, especially as bars downtown have seen a surge in business with off-campus students returning.
When contacted for more information about the ordinance, Clemson City Police Chief Jeff Stone reiterated the hope for compliance, “We will continue to focus on enforcement as the semester progresses. The hope is to reduce the need to issue citations. Our officers are conducting checks at businesses throughout the city, not just downtown, and are issuing citations for those not in compliance with the ordinance.”
Clemson University has a separate directive than the city ordinance for face coverings as well.
In the event that students are found not wearing masks, their actions can be reported as a breach of the Student Code of Conduct. If faculty are found not wearing masks, their actions can be reported to Human Resources.
Students are encouraged to file incident reports when seeing someone not complying with the mask mandate on campus. “Supervisors, faculty members, leaders on campus seeing people without masks should say something. Start a conversation, not a confrontation. Inform them that there is a policy, and that it will help us all to be safe,” said Mullen.
For students concerned about a police enforcement of masks on campus, Mullen reassures that the CUPD is not the first call that will be made. CUPD’s role is to educate and inform the individual about what is required, as failure to wear a mask on campus is a policy violation, not a criminal violation.
“So far, with the few people that have been on campus, [the policy] has been taken well. A lot of conversation is taking place about the why — which is important to explain behind policy and procedures. We respect differing opinions, but we have a policy and procedure that we have built upon the medical information that we have gotten from the CDC, state, and medical consultants,” explained Mullen.
Clemson University is taking a variety of steps to ensure a safe campus for students to return in the next few weeks. For more information on the resources available,check out the Healthy Clemson resources page.