A Message from the Dean of Students Regarding COVID-19
August 19, 2020
This summer Baylor University, like many institutions across the country, has invested significant time and resources to prepare for your safe return to campus. The healthy practices we have shared as part of the Family First campaign are designed for your wellbeing and that of your friends and classmates and our community. It is our hope that these measures will preserve the in-person instruction and beloved Baylor traditions that mark your undergraduate experience. Yet, our preparation is only effective if we partner together to help keep Baylor safe.
This week, colleges across the country have moved to virtual instruction due to outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus. These outbreaks, in large part, have originated from off-campus social gatherings that did not adhere to the widely adopted guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including wearing face coverings, social distancing, and proper sanitation. The decisions of a few to ignore these stated guidelines have now negatively impacted the collective experience of their peers. It is our hope that Baylor, and our students, will offer a different path forward. The following guidelines will offer clarity on what is expected and the potential consequences for students and student organizations for compromising the health and safety of our community.
Guidelines from City Ordinances & Executive Orders
- Students are expected to comply with Baylor COVID Policies as well as City of Waco, McLennan County, and State of Texas resolutions and Executive Orders. Non-compliance with local orders may result in a fine of $250 per occurrence.
- Students must give specific attention to restrictions on social gatherings. The City of Waco Mayor, McLennan County leaders, and Governor Abbott issued orders prohibiting social gatherings in excess of 10 people. This includes on-campus spaces, private residences, apartments, and other off-campus venues.
- Face coverings are required on-campus and when in a public place off-campus. Students should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside of their home. Face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing.
Consequences for Failure to Comply
Baylor students who fail to comply with Baylor Policies and/or local and state resolutions and Executive Orders, and thus place the health and wellbeing of others at risk, may face significant consequences that include suspension or expulsion from the University as well as interim measures that may include removing the student from classes and restricting access to the campus, notification to professors, removal from residence halls, holds on student’s registration, and loss of access to the student’s Bear ID. Students should refer to the Baylor Student Conduct Code.
Baylor student organizations found responsible for hosting or promoting unapproved events or experiences that place the health and wellbeing of others at risk may face significant consequences including suspension, removal of charter, and individual conduct review for residents or membership.
All Baylor COVID-19 policies and the expectation to comply with these policies will remain in place until the University makes an official announcement otherwise. Each of us, as part of the Baylor Family, has a responsibility to make decisions that place the health and wellbeing of all members of our community as our highest priority as we work together to preserve our traditions and learning opportunities for the fall semester.
Please help us exhibit this caring mentality by modeling the prevention and mitigation strategies for COVID-19 so we can all safely resume on-campus activities for the duration of the upcoming semester.
Sharra Hynes, Ph.D.
Dean of Students & Associate Vice President
Division of Student Life