Face coverings, attendance and de-escalation on campus

Ahead of the start of the Fall 2020 Semester, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Center for Disability & Access are providing guidance regarding face coverings and finding support on campus. The following three videos provide guidance on handling potential issues that may arise.

Attendance and Face Covering Accommodations in the time of COVID-19

Scott McAward | Director | Center for Disability & Access

As students and faculty come to campus this fall, some adjustments have been made regarding in-person class attendance expectations as well as requirements to wear a face covering inside university buildings, classrooms and in outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible. Students that may need to seek an accommodation related to in-person attendance or face coverings due to their own medical condition, or disability, should contact the Center for Disability & Access. The video below summarizes the various forms of instruction that will be occurring during this fall semester and how that relates to in-person attendance.

Frequently asked questions

It depends on the specific course and whether or not in-person attendance is necessary due to pedagogical reasons (e.g., laboratories, studios, or artistic training).  For courses where in-person attendance is necessary, it should be stated explicitly in the syllabus.  Students seeking an accommodation for these courses due to their own medical condition or disability should contact Center for Disability & Access.  If students need to seek an exception for other reasons, they should contact the Office of Dean of Students.  For all other in-person courses, faculty can encourage, but not require in-person attendance.  Students can choose to attend remotely without a formal accommodation.

Some disabilities, or medical conditions, may make it difficult for an individual to wear a standard face covering.  This could be related to specific respiration needs, a physical disability, or some mental health conditions.  In addition, individuals that use American Sign Language to communicate cannot wear face coverings that obscure their mouth.

When considering face covering accommodations, public health and safety must also be considered.  Types of alternatives would be individually  determined based on the specific needs of the individual, but could include clear face coverings, or modified face shields.

Students must request and complete the process with the Center for Disability & Access before attending class or entering buildings on campus without a standard face covering.  This process may take 1-2 weeks to complete.

Face Coverings and the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities

Brian Burton | Associate Dean | Dean of Students

Students who state that they cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability should be referred to the Center for Disability & Access for appropriate accommodations. If individuals are observed in buildings without a face covering, we encourage members of our university community to kindly ask that they wear one. If students disregard the directive to wear a face covering while on campus, they may be in violation of the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (University Policy 6-400) and could be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Frequently asked questions

The Coronavirus.utah.edu website has been created as a clearing house for all of the university’s information related to our return to campus.

Yes. Students may pick up one reusable face covering to add to their personal supply at the Student Union Building, Eccles Life Center, Gardner Commons, and the Sandy Campus. Students living on-campus can get one with HRE. Additionally, a number of offices and departments will have a limited supply of disposable face coverings.

You may refer students to the Office of the Dean of Student by calling 801-581-7066 or emailing deanofstudents@utah.edu during normal business hours or submit a concern through our online reporting forms. Concerns about staff and faculty should be directed to Human Resources and the Office for Faculty respectively.

University policies are implemented to protect individuals and the campus community and create an environment conducive to achieving the academic mission of the U. The Student Code contemplates an informal resolution focused on education and personal development as a first step; however, as with any violation of the Student Code, repeated or egregious misconduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including separation from the institution.

Navigating Difficult Conversations About Face Coverings: De-escalation Tips and Techniques

Leila Ames | Student-athlete Advocate | Office of the Dean of Students

Our campus community has a shared responsibility to work together to ensure the health and safety of staff, students, faculty and guests as we return to campus. To limit the spread of COVID-19, face coverings are required inside university buildings and in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. While it is anticipated that most students and campus visitors will voluntarily comply with this requirement, some individuals may decide not to wear a face covering. Employees are advised to engage in open and productive dialogue to encourage compliance with public health policy. The training below provides strategies to use verbal and non-verbal communication to de-escalate difficult conversations about face coverings. If a student consistently disregards the directive to wear a face covering while on campus, refer them to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Frequently asked questions

There are times in a conversation when someone says something negative. Negative statements have the potential to create conflict. To keep the conversation moving in a positive direction, ask open questions. Ask about the problem, then redirect the person to focus on positive options.

You may direct students to one of many locations on campus where disposable masks will be made available. Remind them that the university has provided each student a face-covering and will provide appropriate resources to any individual in need.

You should call UUPD if someone exhibits threatening behavior including acts of physical harm, property damage, or verbal or physical threats at 801-585-2677.

If a student displays disruptive or inappropriate behavior, you may contact and refer the student the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) by calling 801-581-7066, emailing deanofstudents@utah.edu during normal business hours or submitting a concern with the online reporting forms.