BUTTE — Students and staff at Montana Tech in Butte received an email this morning from the school's chancellor stating masks will be required in all classrooms and labs beginning Wednesday.
The face mask requirement applies to all students, faculty, and staff. The announcement follows other Montana campuses that are now requiring face masks for students, staff, and faculty, including Montana State University.
Montana State University President Waded Cruzado announced in a letter to the MSU community in late August that masks will now be required in all "instructional spaces" through at least October 1.
Earlier this month, some staff members on the campus of Montana Tech in Butte are concerned the administration’s personal responsibility policy in taking precautions against COVID-19 is not working.
“We have a problem. The administration's response to encourage people to get vaccinated and to wear a mask just is not working,” said Montana Tech Professor John Ray.
Here's a look at the email:
Dear students, staff, and faculty,
As we begin our fourth week of classes, I am writing to update you regarding COVID prevention and mitigation on our campus. Over the past three weeks, we have monitored and evaluated this situation daily, in concert with our public health partners with the underlying commitment to keep our community safe, ensure face-to-face learning, and offer a robust on-campus experience.
On August 13, you received an email asking everyone in our community to mask up in indoor public spaces. We have continued to make this request since the inception of classes. While some are following this request, many are not.
We have been committed from day one to doing what is necessary to protect the health and safety of our Montana Tech Family. To do this and fulfill our academic obligations at Montana Tech, given current data and input from our health partners, it has become both appropriate and essential to require face masks in every instructional space inside buildings on our campus.
This face mask requirement includes every classroom or laboratory where an MTU course is taught. It applies to all students, faculty, and staff and will take effect beginning Wednesday, September 15. We still strongly recommend masking up in all other public indoor spaces as well. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. I look forward to a time when I will be able to send a notice rescinding this requirement.
Please stop by the Student Union Building (SUB) Information Desk if you need a mask.
I can assure you this is not the message that any of us wanted to write or receive on a Monday morning, but this virus isn’t going away and continues to be a challenge for our community, our state, and healthcare systems nationwide. We are one community devoted to excellence and we have a duty to do what is best to protect all of us.
Les P. Cook, Ed.D Chancellor