University of Victoria’s Board Rejects Recommendation to Make Masks Mandatory Indoors

University students wearing mask

The University of Victoria’s board of governors has not accepted the recommendation of its senate to make face masks mandatory until the end of the semester.

Although masks will not be mandatory anymore, the university has strongly encouraged the use of masks indoors, Erudera.com reports.

“Masks are no longer required in indoor public spaces. Wearing a mask is now a matter of personal choice. On campus, UVic strongly encourages the use of masks, particularly in indoor spaces where people are in close proximity or if you feel more comfortable to do so,” the University of Victoria notes.

Some campus areas are still required to follow specific guidelines for the use of masks indoors, including healthcare locations.

The university announced that the board has also voted to request a legal opinion over the decision-making framework and jurisdiction as it relates to the senate’s recommendation.

“Please continue to follow public health guidance, including doing daily health checks and staying home if sick. Vaccination continues to provide the best protection from the more serious effects of COVID-19,” UVic advises.

The associate professor and executive committee member of the Faculty Association at the university Victoria Wyatt told the Times Colonist that such a decision has disappointed her.

“This puts people at risk and disproportionally affects those with underlying health issues and those living in multi-generational homes,” said Wyatt, who couldn’t say what the Faculty Association’s next steps will be,” Wyatt said.

On the other hand, the two largest universities in Ottawa, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, announced that they will keep mask and vaccination requirements in place until the end of the winter semester.

According to reports, members of the council and student unions of the two universities have agreed for vaccines and mask rules to remain in place.

Similar to University of Victoria, other universities worldwide have started to remove their indoor mask mandates.

Since March 14, Princeton University doesn’t require its students to wear masks indoors. However university’s new guideline requires face masks to be worn in some situations. The university said that the community should wear masks in situations that are required by state or local agencies.  

>> Masks at Ohio State University Will Be Optional Starting March 11

Binghamton University has also lifted its temporary mask mandate for students since March 26, 2022, based on low COVID-19 transmission rates on campus and in Broome County. Nevertheless, Binghamton stressed that those who want to wear masks are allowed to do so.

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