Dear Members of the Methodist University Community,
Effective immediately, everyone on the Methodist University campus (vaccinated or unvaccinated) must wear a mask both indoors and outdoors. The only exceptions are when in a room by yourself or with roommates, eating, or outdoors when social distancing can be clearly observed and managed. Spectators at indoor and outdoor athletic events (even if fully vaccinated) will be required to wear masks at all times.
This revision to protocol is the result of a new Fayetteville ordinance, guidance from health care officials, and a concerning number of current positive cases of COVID-19 on our campus. Please note that while we strongly recommend you refrain from gatherings off campus — as the new ordinance is evidence of the high rate of COVID spread in our city — if you do leave MU this weekend, the city ordinance goes into effect tonight at 5 p.m.
Being conscientious about wearing your mask when in the company of others (indoors and out) can play a key role in our success to keep this semester as normal as possible. Wear your mask when playing pool in Berns. After eating in the cafeteria, and still sitting with friends, pull up your mask. How we face small inconveniences such as these examples could be the big difference between dining hall meals and take-out meals; full or no visitation in residence halls; in-person and remote learning.
While vaccination is the best chance to keep ourselves and those around us safe, masking is also a valuable tool in this fight. Masks are available for free through the Student Affairs Office, and if we wear them, we have a chance to keep moving forward with events and activities that could be cancelled if we don’t.
Go outside. Enjoy activities and each other. But also, wear your mask and show you are a part of the solution that will allow us all to move forward together.
Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D.