Mississippi College Tightens Mandatory Mask Wearing Policies
Mississippi College leaders strengthened health protocols by mandating masks for the MC family as well as campus visitors.
The more stringent policies and stepped up enforcement went into effect immediately, MC officials announced Thursday.
Students, faculty, staff and visitors will now be required to wear a face mask at all campus locations. That includes in buildings and outdoor settings.
New guidelines at Mississippi College will be strictly enforced. “This is a critical time for our MC family and we must all do our part,” says Jonathan Ambrose, associate vice president for the student experience and dean of students.
MC officials say the tougher standards seek to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when coronavirus cases are surging nationwide with over 5.55 million coronavirus cases.
Several colleges such as Notre Dame, the University of Connecticut, Villanova and the University of North Carolina are reporting many students are ignoring mask wearing. In addition, college students repeatedly failed to adhere to social distancing on and off campus around the USA.
People in all 82 Mississippi counties are required to wear masks in public under an order signed earlier this month by Gov. Tate Reeves.
Mississippi College’s actions join steps taken across the Magnolia State to curb the virus.
“The wearing of masks is now part of our culture here at MC, as well as most of the United States,” said campus COVID-19 coordinator Beth Stapleton.
“Until our nation gets some relief from the spread of COVID-19, we will need to comply with the masks at all times,” Stapleton said.
“It is so difficult to be so distant from each other at MC. Our university is based on community,” added the director of the McMillan Center for Education Abroad. “We can still have that community if we do it safely.”
MC began its 195th year with classes starting August 17. The fall semester ends before the Thanksgiving holidays.
Student Government Association Vice President Damon Wright supports the tougher approach. “Masks are not fun to wear, but it is a necessity that will greatly benefit our campus and society as a whole,” says the senior from Alabama. “We should be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to the pandemic.”
MC senior Jill Dickerson of Memphis backs more stringent requirements on masks and social distancing.
“I think a strong reminder that we are still in a pandemic was necessary,” says Dickerson, president of the Laguna social tribe. “The health of our students and faculty is the number one priority for us.”
At Mississippi College, “we are a family here, and wearing masks makes it difficult to feel that family connection,” says the public relations major. “But family does whatever it must to protect one another.”