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What can college students expect going into this semester?

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There’s been more concern over the last few weeks with the rise in COVID cases.

In fact, one of the state’s largest universities, the University of North Dakota, is now requiring masks.

As schools gear up to welcome students back, the topic of masks is back up for conversation.

“We are welcoming the use of masks on campus. It’s not a requirement at this time. We have a number of available resources for our students as they come and go, so we have masking stations all through campus,” said Dan Leingang, the VP of Academic Affairs for Bismarck State College.

While BSC is leaving it up to students and employees to decide on whether or not to wear masks, United Tribes Technical College is making wearing masks a requirement.

“We had looked a little bit for this fall at maybe lifting that and relaxing those a little bit. But then the numbers started ticking up again, so as a result of that we just left them in place. And we’re mandated, 100 percent masked for all employees and all students,” said Leander McDonald, the president of UTTC.

While both higher education institutes differ on masks, they both have the same policy for vaccines right now: they’re not requiring vaccines but are strongly recommending them.

For instance, UTTC will have COVID vaccines and tests available to all students and staff at student health.

“It’s the same case for the testing. You’re able to go in there and get tested as needed and that’s being required for both employees and students on a weekly basis if they’re not vaccinated,” said McDonald.

BSC says they will continue to provide on-campus testing like they did last year and also opportunities for vaccines.

“As individuals may feel unhealthy and feel that maybe shouldn’t be in class that day. We are encouraging them to stay home, take care of yourself and then, of course, we have this testing service that could also provide a little bit more guidance for you if you have that need for further medical treatment,” said Leingang.

The University of Mary told KX News in a statement earlier Monday:

At this time masks will be optional for students and staff. However, certain programs may be subject to external requirements.

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