UVic Board of Governors opts not to reinstate mask mandate on campus

UVic Board of Governors opts not to reinstate mask mandate on campus

The University of Victoria Board of Governors has chosen to reject a recommendation from the school’s Senate and not reinstate a mask mandate on campus.

In a vote earlier this week, the board turned down a recommendation that had been put forward by the senate, deciding to keep it not mandatory to wear masks indoors across the property.

Last week, the UVic Senate recommended that the board immediately reinstate the mandate and keep it in place throughout the April exam period.

In the motion put forward by the Senate, it suggests that deciding to drop the mask mandate at the same time as the rest of the province, “fundamentally alters the learning and working environment overnight for
immunocompromised students, staff, faculty and librarians, leaving them no time to seek accommodations or make alternative educational plans.”

The Senate also suggested that without a mask mandate in place, it increases the chances of absences of faculty, staff and students leading up to and during the exam period, with the attendant disruptions to teaching and exams.

The mandate was officially dropped by UVic on March 11 following guidance announced by the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Despite these concerns and recommendations from the Senate, the Board of Governors — which consists of 15 members — voted against a reinstatement during a meeting on Monday, March 28.

The University does continue to highly recommend the use of masks indoors for safety.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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