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Protocols for noncompliant students

With some students returning to campus next week, MSU Denver provides employees guidance on addressing health and safety requirements.

August 12, 2020

Student writing at desk during class.As Metropolitan State University of Denver prepares to welcome some of its community members back to campus next week, questions have emerged about how employees should address instances of students observed not adhering to public-health requirements – specifically, students not wearing face coverings.

To address these questions, the University has developed a set of protocols to guide the limited number of faculty and staff members who will be on campus to support fall classes. These protocols are intended to establish a common framework for how to handle potentially challenging or anxiety-inducing situations.

In accordance with the University’s Communicable Disease Policy, and as articulated in communications to currently enrolled students, all people on campus are required to comply with particular health and safety expectations. All individuals are, for example, expected to wear a face covering (mask and/or face shield) while on campus in the presence of others, to perform a daily health self-assessment prior to arrival and to maintain social distance in shared spaces such as classrooms and labs.

If a student is observed out of compliance with stated expectations, the following protocols should be enacted by MSU Denver employees:

  • DO politely remind students of the requirements in a friendly and helpful demeanor.
    “As a reminder, we all are required to wear face coverings when we are around other people.”
    “Please keep your distance when around other people.”
  • DO share information with students about resources to help them be in compliance.
    “If you forgot your mask today, you can pick one up for no cost at the Health Center in Plaza 150.”

  • DO thank students for their compliance.
    “Thank you for helping keep our community safe. We appreciate your willingness to follow the expectations.”
    NOTE: If a student was initially not in compliance but indicates a willingness to comply, and does so when asked, no further action is needed.

  • DO NOT engage in any sort of altercation with a student (or others) who expresses disagreement with the requirements. Walk away if the student becomes agitated.
  • DO acknowledge any concerns AND communicate that individuals need to leave if they choose not to comply with the requirements. 
    • “I can hear that this is really important to you. To participate in campus-based activities such as class, a face covering is required.” 
    • “I can see that this is very frustrating to you. If you wish to participate in activities on campus, you will need to meet the requirements to do so.” 
  • DO NOT restrain or forcibly remove someone who is not in compliance with the requirements.

  • As a last resort, DO call on the Auraria Campus Police Department for support if a student refuses to comply or leave, becomes belligerent or causes a disruption.
    The Text-a-Tip line can be used to discreetly contact the Auraria Campus Police: 720-593-TIPS (8477). Auraria Campus Police Department dispatch phone: 303-556-5000

  • DO follow up with the Dean of Students Office to file an incident report if a student refuses to comply with the requirements and to share information if a student expresses distress or if other follow-up is merited.

Topics: Health, Safety, Student Success

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