GV’s Face Covering Toolkit provides faculty, staff with information


GVL / Sydney Lim

Payton Brazzil, Staff Writer

Since fall 2020, masks have been a fact of life for the Grand Valley State University community. While on campus, students, faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings indoors, with some exceptions. But what happens if someone does not follow these guidelines?

To help educate the community, the Office of the Provost and the Virus Action Team created a “toolkit” on the face-covering policy.

The webpage provides information and guidance for faculty and staff, especially pertaining to classroom procedures. 

According to the toolkit, GVSU must take a proactive approach to the classrooms in order to ensure safety and wellness. The virus spreads through the air, often from other infected individuals, so face coverings are crucial in minimizing the spread. 

The mask policy is tied to GVSU’s alert level, which is currently on Alert Level 2: Medium Alert. The level calls for masks are required indoors unless you are quickly drinking or eating. 

The toolkit includes in-depth information, articles, videos and frequently asked questions. If a faculty member is looking for a procedure, when a student does not comply with the policy, there are multiple steps to follow. 

The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and a member of the Virus Action Team Ed Aboufadel said that there are certain steps a faculty member should take. 

“It often starts off with reminding the student to put a mask on that covers their nose,” Aboufadel said. “If they didn’t bring one we have disposable masks available. However, if it starts to get difficult, a faculty member could ask the student to leave the class and ultimately public safety could be called to remove the student.”

Aboufadel said that luckily, over the past year and a half, security has not once been called for this reason. 

Aboufadel said that the community has been excellent when it comes to following the mask policy. Most students, faculty and staff comply with the face-covering guidelines. 

Although it is rare, there have been instances where faculty members have not worn a mask in the classroom. 

“If the faculty member is not wearing a mask and the student complains, then that complaint is sent to the Dean and that has happened,” Aboufadel said. “Currently, even if you’re six feet away everyone needs to be masked, or if they have a medical exemption. I think the numbers are really small though.”

While some professors struggle to follow the mask policy, most professors go out of their way to ensure the safety of the classroom. GVSU student Alison Herring said her professors take the virus very seriously. 

“My professor always reminds students who have their mask under their nose to lift it up,” Herring said. “He just wants everyone to stay safe. But, no one in my class has ever said no to wearing a mask or lifting it up.”   

Overall, GVSU students, faculty and staff alike are doing their part to minimize the impact of COVID-19 to keep classes face-to-face. 

Once the Alert Level is Level 0: Near Normal, face coverings would not be required. In order for the alert level to go down, the number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa county must go down. 

For more information about the face coverings toolkit visit: