Shared Responsibility and Plan Enforcement
University Response to Violations of the Royals Safe Together PlanThe University, as a whole, is engaged in an unprecedented response to a global pandemic in way that exemplifies our commitment to delivering a quality education to our students. The challenge to keep each other safe through this pandemic is a shared responsibility shaped by individual decisions. The Royals Safe Together Plan and related information released to the University community provide a framework to guide those decisions.
The first Guiding Principle of Royals Safe Together is to “…Protect the health and well-being of the entire University community and ensure that members of our community understand their individual role and responsibility in keeping themselves and others safe and healthy.”
While we expect and hope that everyone will cooperate and comply with the Plan, there may be some who choose not to do so or who object to provisions for various reasons, including a belief that they may impinge upon their rights. The University will address non-compliance with important safety requirements through an approach that is consistent with its established processes and procedures.
A Shared Responsibility to Help Each Other Comply
All members of the University community should first rely on gentle reminders and constructive communications with students, faculty, staff, or authorized visitors, who are not adhering to wearing masks, social distancing or other guidelines contained in the Royals Safe Together Plan. Choosing to report students, faculty, and staff should be a last resort and should only occur if the individual fails to comply with reasonable reminders and requests from fellow members of the University community.
When members of the University community do not adhere to requests to comply with the Plan, information can be reported to the Pandemic Safety Officer through a secure online reporting form.
Suggested ways to engage in shared responsibility could be as follows:
- Politely ask the non-compliant community member to comply with the plan requirements (e.g. put on a mask or wear a mask properly over the nose and mouth, keep a social distance of six feet, wipe down their area). Offer the non-compliant community member direction on how to get a mask, if appropriate.
- If the non-compliant community member is in an office, building, or other building space on campus, and they refuse to comply with the request, faculty or staff must ask the individual to leave the area.
- If the community member refuses to leave, the faculty or staff member can contact University Police to intervene. The faculty or staff member should also report the removal to the Pandemic Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: University Police may escort the individual off campus (e.g. employee, authorized visitor, or off-campus student).
- University Police will report the removal of any individuals to the Pandemic Safety Officer.
Please note: Some members of the community may be exempt for legitimate reasons from wearing masks or personal protective equipment (PPE) as approved by the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) or the Center for Teaching and Learning Education (CTLE).
For more information regarding the exemptions, see section II.C. and III.D. of the RST Plan.
Corrective Action and Discipline
All community members must comply with the requirements of the Royals Safe Together Plan. Everyone may occasionally forget to comply and the University will excuse innocent, quickly corrected mistakes. Individuals who egregiously and/or repeatedly violate the provisions of the plan, however, place the health and safety of others at risk. Egregious actions are those that harm or intentionally inflict injury, harm or distress upon another community member or members. Examples may include intentionally coughing on another person or non-compliance that triggers a significant disruption to academic or campus operations.
The University will take corrective and disciplinary action, following established procedures.
Student behaviors that violation the Plan will be addressed through the Student Code of Conduct. The Code addresses behavior for students both on and off campus. As the University responds to the pandemic, it is especially important for students to follow the guidelines of the Royals Safe Together Plan and directives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and City of Scranton as it relates to social gatherings in their residence halls and off-campus residences.
Students violating guidelines and directives are subject to disciplinary action, especially those responsible for hosting or promoting such gatherings.
As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all community members, the University will make use of the full range of sanctions available in the Student Code of Conduct, up to and including expulsion.
Staff, Administrators and Faculty
Staff, administrators and faculty are expected to provide examples for students on compliance with the provisions of the Plan. The behavior of staff and administrators is addressed through the Discipline and Corrective section of the Staff and Administrator Handbook, at page 7-8. Issues regarding faculty conduct are addressed through Appendix XII of the Faculty Handbook. The full range of sanctions as explained in these handbooks is available, up to and including termination.