Dear Members of the Monmouth University Community:
In response to the newly released CDC indoor mask guidelines and Governor Murphy’s announcement last month lifting the universal school mask mandate, I am writing with updates to our indoor masking requirement at Monmouth University. Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in a series of discussions with faculty, staff, and student leadership to solicit feedback and to inform an updated policy in the most suitable way for our university community as a whole.
Effective Monday, March 7, the indoor mask requirement will be lifted throughout all areas of campus, except in classrooms during regularly scheduled academic classes, where all attendees will continue to be required to wear properly fitting face masks.
Our vaccination rates as a community are relatively high – and our current community transmission rate is fairly low – making it possible to remove masks at all interior locations, including residence halls, dining areas, the Great Hall, the Stafford Student Center, the Guggenheim Library, the OceanFirst Bank Center, and all other buildings. We realize that this transition is welcome for some and brings discomfort for others. If you feel more comfortable still wearing a mask beyond the classroom, we ask all members of our university community to respect that choice.
We are maintaining the mask mandate in classrooms for the time being for two primary reasons.
- First, the classroom setting places some susceptible members of our community in confined spaces for prolonged periods of time. Continuing to mask in the classroom provides an added layer of protection for faculty members.
- Second, all students registered for classes this spring under the guise of masking in the classroom. Relaxing this requirement would not be fair to those students who registered under these expectations.
In addition, there may be select office areas that require visitors to mask upon entry due to vulnerability of staff members in those offices. Any such offices will be clearly designated with signage at the entrance, and will have disposable face masks available for visitors.
We will continually assess these masking standards in the days ahead to consider even further relaxation of these protocols. If you have specific questions on this masking policy or other health and safety protocols, please reach out to Spring2022@monmouth.edu. I wish you continued good health and success as we approach the second half of the spring semester, and I thank you in advance for your continued understanding and anticipated cooperation.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy