COLLEGE STATION, TX — Universities across the country are requiring students, staff, and faculty to wear face masks as they return to campus for the fall semester.
Two weeks ago Texas A&M’s president Michael Young announced that all Aggie faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings to make sure everyone's protected.
“I think it's a great thing,” said student David Doty, TAMU Class of 2021.
The mask mandate went into effect on June 15 and stipulates masks must be worn by all individuals on A&M system campus.
“By wearing a face mask, you're protecting people in the environment that you're around from things that you may be carrying," said Dr. Adam Pickens with Texas A&M School of Public Health.
Now that the policy is in place, the big question is how is the policy being enforced?
“You can ask them if they flat out refuse you can go to the supervisor. There can be potentially, again this is in the FAQ’s, there can potentially be disciplinary action if you flat out refuse to use a mask and you refuse to leave the area,” said Dr. Pickens.
While most students haven’t returned to campus, some who have are worried about the fall semester yet hopeful all students will be taking the policy seriously.
“I'm very worried because I know that I am distancing from other people and that I am being careful but the bars over there are filled almost every night," said Doty.
Dr. Pickens says while some may not be a fan of the new policy, it is necessary to safely welcome thousands of students back to campus.
“I think at this point for us to justify bringing people back onto campus, this is something that needs to happen. So people didn’t sign up to go to Baylor or Texas A&M strictly as a distance school, they signed up for the on-campus experience,” he said.
Exceptions to the face covering policy will be evaluated on a case by case basis by a face covering committee.