Chelsea Sepolio, director of Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 compliance for Student Affairs, met with SGA to come up with the phrase “Wear it for Wesleyan” to promote the use of masks around campus. Mask wearing has been an essential component to students being able to return to campus.
“‘Wear it for Wesleyan’ means to comply with the university’s requirement for face coverings,” Dennis Hall, dean of students, said.
“I believe it is essential for the student body to follow these guidelines. We have a strong desire to provide our ‘Smaller. Smarter.’ student experience. In order to do so effectively and safely, we must all be committed to following the guidelines. Students play a key role in the entire university’s success.”
Despite the mandate, not everyone was following the rules.
In an athletic venue where respiratory droplets and particles typically fill the air, Morton Fitness Center has become ground zero for students and staff not following COVID-19 safety protocols.
Meghan Lewis, a junior technical theatre major and resident life representative for Student Government Association (SGA), was one of the first on campus to hear about face covering issues. One of her responsibilities is to inform Student Affairs about safety issues.
“Students came to me with concerns about some of the students and staff not wearing masks,” Lewis said.
After several issues were reported, Sepolio, took immediate, no-nonsense action on the matter. Within 24 hours everyone in the fitness center was wearing a mask.
SGA president Lexi Barlow said it is imperative for students to wear masks if they want to attend class in person.
“I can’t articulate how important it is for students to wear a mask, follow the mask-wearing guidelines, and to wear their mask correctly. From a safety perspective, we need students to wear their masks to help avoid the spread of COVID-19. If an outbreak occurs on campus, we likely will have to return to fully online classes like we did this past spring,” Barlow said.
‘Wear it for Wesleyan’ can be heard on the university’s social media networks, and SGA has begun passing out hand sanitizers and flyers that say “Wear it for Wesleyan” in an attempt to contain the virus.
Barlow urges students to take personal responsibility and follow coronavirus mask-wearing protocol.
“Even if the slogan isn’t explicitly directed by resident assistants, I see their role, along with other student leaders, as major components in holding each student accountable. We have to make sure we’re all wearing masks and social distancing. I believe it’s students who will ultimately bring this slogan to life.” Barlow said. For more on SGA visit https://www.txwessga.com/