This academic year, Wayne State students could face punishment from the university if they don’t comply with new COVID-19 guidelines.
At its June 19 meeting, the WSU Board of Governors voted to amend the Student Code of Conduct to include new Title IX regulations and safety measures students must take on-campus.
“Wayne State was one of the first universities in the country to specifically amend our student code of conduct to add information regarding COVID compliance,” Dean of Students David Strauss said. “Now, later in the summer, we’re starting to see other universities do the same.”
The new rules require students to complete the campus daily screener before they come to campus, wear a cloth face mask in public spaces and stay at least six feet away from other students, according to the Student Code of Conduct. Students also must follow signs that mark directions regarding the use of hallways, elevators, common spaces and stairwells.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they also must follow directions given by the Campus Health Center.
WSU has also created a COVID-19 Noncompliance Report where students and faculty can report individuals who are not following the updated protocols.
“The reason we decided to create a new form entirely, rather than these reports being done on a non-academic misconduct report, was to make it more accessible and easy to find,” Strauss said.
The Dean of Students Office reviews reports and acts accordingly based on information provided, Strauss said.
Students who do not comply with the COVID-19 safety rules will experience different levels of penalization, Strauss said. Depending on the severity, this could range from a warning to suspension.
Ileana Bell, a senior art student attending in-person classes this semester, said she is very grateful for the precautions the university is taking.
“I was really nervous to come in person, but I’m very happy I am able to report people who aren’t following the rules,” she said.
Bell was worried that even with rules in place, some students would refuse to comply, she said. The COVID-19 Noncompliance Report gives her much more peace of mind attending in-person classes.
Students who attend in-person classes, or frequently on campus, are advised to immediately inform the university if they feel they have been exposed to or have contracted COVID-19, Strauss said.
“If a student thinks they were exposed to COVID and are no longer comfortable going to an in-person class, they must tell their instructor right away. We want to be there to immediately support the student in any way we can,” he said.
Arben Gacaferi is a correspondent for The South End. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Quinn Banks, The South End's multimedia editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.