Human Resources

Office of Compliance

Face Coverings Policy

Effective June 23, 2020, face coverings must be worn on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus inside all public buildings and outside if unable to practice proper social distancing. The face covering must cover the mouth and nose and applies to all Texas A&M University-Kingsville students, employees and to all visitors, including service providers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, alumni, families, volunteers and community members.

Usage of the face covering should follow the current CDC recommendations If using a cloth face covering, the covering should be made of tightly woven cotton fabric. Any face covering used should fully cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face and be secured under the chin. Coverings with exhalation valves or vents should also not be worn.

Face coverings must be worn in any enclosed public space, even if you are by yourself, or any outdoor space where 6 feet of physical distancing is not reliably maintained. A public space is any indoor space on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus/property other than your own, single-occupant private office, residence (including residence hall room or apartment), or personal vehicle. Public spaces include lobbies, restrooms, retail space, dining hall, classrooms and laboratories, common spaces of residence halls, conference rooms, hallways, stairwells, and break rooms. Individuals working in cubicles will be required to wear proper face coverings. Face coverings are required in university or utility vehicles when there is more than one person inside the vehicle.

The following in-building exceptions to wearing a face covering apply:

  • Employees while working alone in their office
  • Students in their assigned residence hall room
  • While participating in activities in which a face covering cannot be worn, or would prohibit respiratory function (eating, drinking, playing a musical instrument or singing, or playing sports).
  • Individuals under the age of two years.
  • Class / research laboratories may require a specific type of face covering as detailed in their lab operating procedures.
  • The allowable use of a “face shield only” is when a faculty member is actively lecturing in the classroom and able to maintain appropriate social distancing. Once lecturing is complete, the faculty member must don their face covering when exiting the classroom. The face shield can continue to be worn by the faculty member but must be worn in conjunction with a face covering that covers the nose and mouth. The wearing of a “face shield only” is not authorized in any other setting.
  • Individuals with a recognized disability may request an accommodation through the Office of Disability Resources if a student, Human Resources if an employee. For the safety of the campus community, an alternative delivery of service (i.e., virtual meetings, location change, etc.) may be arranged after an individualized assessment of the circumstances.

Enforcement of the Face Covering Policy

As members of the Javelina Community, all faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors to the campus must comply with the campus policy requiring the wearing of a face covering. Supervisory staff, university administrators, department chairs, unit heads and faculty in their classrooms, are responsible for assisting with the implementation of this policy.

A person not in compliance will be reminded to put on a face covering, and if applicable provided information on where to quickly obtain one. The expectation is that the individual will immediately leave the premises and return wearing a face covering in order to remain in the building or in class.

Noncompliance with the face covering requirement will be handled through existing employee discipline and student code of conduct processes. Visitors without a face covering who refuse to wear one, will be asked to leave the premises and would be considered trespassing if non-compliant.

In a classroom setting, if the student does not comply with the professor’s request to put on a face covering, the instructor can dismiss the student from the classroom for that class period. If the student refuses to leave, the instructor may immediately dismiss the class and conclude the class period online. The professor may elect to discuss the matter in private with the student later and follow-up with a memo to the Dean of Students documenting the incident, or the faculty member may make a written referral of the student for disturbing the class by refusing to comply with the faculty member’s request, to the Dean of Student’s Office. In both instances, documentation provided should include the name of student, student ID number, other contact information if known, class / section, date/time of the interaction, and a small summary of the concern and the outcome. The Dean of Students or designee will inform the student through their official university email address of the face covering policy and that he / she may not return to the classroom without a face covering. Continued disregard for the policy will be handled through the university’s student disciplinary code of conduct. Possible sanctions for a disciplinary violation of the student code of conduct range from a warning to expulsion from the university.

In an office setting, university retail area or other university location requiring the use of a face covering, the individual will be reminded of the rule and information on where to obtain a disposable face covering if applicable. If the person refuses to obtain and wear a face covering, the person will be asked to leave. If the person still refuses to leave, a supervisor may be called to assist. The unit supervisor may send a letter of warning to the individual documenting the incident and copy the Dean of Students if a student, or Human Resources if a non-student (visitor, service provider, university employee, etc.). If it is a repeat offense or if the person’s conduct was egregious, the incident should be referred incident directly to the appropriate office. In both instances, documentation provided should include the name of person involved, student ID number if a student, other contact information if known, location where occurred, date/time of the interaction, and a small summary of the concern and the outcome.