Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Syllabus Statements: COVID 19 Guidance

Syllabus statements are an important way for faculty to accomplish a number of useful goals at the outset of each course: Reduce the number of predictable questions from students, help establish students' expectations about the course at the outset, reduce students’ uncertainty (and increase their comfort level) about you and the course, generate more positive perceptions about who you are and how you will conduct the class, and convey your commitment to supporting them as individuals. These pages offer information about several categories of recommended syllabus statements, each offering examples and downloads of language that can be copied or revised for individual faculty use in course syllabi.

COVID-19 Guidance

While Cal Poly's response to the pandemic remains operational, this multi-part statement provides detailed guidance to students about their responsibilities when on campus and while interacting with instructors and classmates.

Syllabus Statement Language

NOTE: Below is carefully crafted language, prepared by Academic Affairs for Fall 2020, that you can copy/paste into all of your syllabi.

Campus Safety Measures

Cal Poly is taking a number of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Along with increased cleaning and sanitation, the university is also placing hand-sanitizing stations around campus and posting signage that promotes face coverings, physical distancing, and other behaviors that reduce transmission. The university will also be providing face coverings, face shields, disposable gloves and other safety equipment to the campus community. For more information, visit the university’s Personal Protective Equipment webpage.

Stay Safe in the Classroom

Taking these preventative steps, as well as monitoring your health and staying home if you are feeling unwell, will help protect the safety of the entire Cal Poly community:

  • Cover Your Face. You are required to wear a mask or face coverings in most public settings.

    (NOTE: The California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education mandates the use of face coverings in all group and workplace settings indoors where there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19 and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. The department’s Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings states that persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition should wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge.
  • Keep a Distance. Avoid close contact and remain at least six feet away from others. 
  • Clean and Disinfect. Wash your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Other Measures Specific to the Course. [Add here].

Learn more about protecting your health and well-being while living or working on campus by visiting the university’s Coronavirus Information webpage.

What can my instructor do if I refuse to wear a mask or comply with other campus COVID-19 safety protocols?

If you want to attend class, receive campus services, or participate in campus activities, but you refuse to wear a mask or comply with other COVID-19 safety protocols, your instructor may respond by doing any one or more of the following:

What if I say I cannot wear a mask for medical or disability reasons?

You should contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) if you believe you cannot comply with any of the COVID-19 related health/safety measures due to a medical condition or disability.  The DRC will then engage in an interactive process with you to determine whether an accommodation is appropriate under the circumstances. 

Those students who refuse to or cannot comply with COVID-19 related health/safety measures, such as wearing a mask in public spaces may infect others if they are ill, and thus they can be considered as creating a danger or “direct threat” to the health and safety of those around them. They can also lead the campus to be out of compliance with local health rules that the campus has confirmed will be followed. Since the health and safety of the entire campus community who are working, studying and living on campus in person will need to be considered when providing individual accommodations, not all requests for accommodation will be considered reasonable or appropriate to grant, especially if they endanger the health of others. However, solutions that balance the health/safety of the individual with the broader community will be sought.

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