The first step in increasing compliance with the Winona State University guidelines on cloth face coverings/masks is to model good behavior. All WSU students and employees are expected to commit themselves to this practice for the greater good of our entire community.

The second step is to expect this same behavior from your co-workers, peers, classmates, friends and neighbors. The expectation to wear a mask applies equally to all people on campus. Be clear on the expectations for your campus environment and get comfortable letting people know there are mask guidelines in place at Winona State. There is no need to demand action or pass judgment, simply to inform.

While we understand there are many and varied opinions on masks, and we respect the right of individuals to hold those opinions, research has shown that wearing a face mask is an important and potentially life-saving tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

If necessary, continued noncompliance with face covering guidelines will be handled through existing student and employee discipline processes.

Note: Additional federal, state, or local face covering rules, laws or mandates–such as the State of Minnesota Emergency Executive OrderRCTC’s mask requirement, the City of Winona mask ordinance, and the City of Rochester mask ordinance–may also apply, but WSU mask guidelines serve as the baseline for our community members and will apply even if face coverings are not required by site or local ordinance.

If a student does not comply after being notified of the campus mask guidelines, the instructor can ask them to leave the classroom. Disciplinary procedures also may be implemented if the student refuses to leave the classroom or refuses to comply with other other health and safety measures required by the university, such as physical distancing or sneeze and cough etiquette.

Additionally, the instructor, in consultation with the department chair or college dean, may refer the student to the Office of the Dean of Students for further disciplinary review. Such reviews may result in consequences ranging from warnings to sanctions from the university.

For more information regarding conduct in the classroom, please review the WSU Student Conduct Code.

Faculty and staff who do not comply with the campus mask guidelines will be referred for further disciplinary action as needed.


Civil or criminal penalties for failing to wear a face covering, if enacted, would be in addition to applicable student and employee discipline processes.