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Bentley University students outside without masks in the sun

Ending the University Mask Mandate

A message from the Cabinet

March 4, 2022

Dear Bentley Community,

Last week, we shared with students, faculty and staff updated health and safety guidelines for our approach to managing COVID-19 on campus. As our community and the world continue to move toward a sustainable, long-term approach to the virus, today we are announcing that, in line with the recommendation of the CDC and public health officials, the university mask mandate will end on Monday, March 7, for all members of the community.

There will remain a small number of exceptions to the end of the university masking policy.

  • Masks remain required on the Bentley Shuttle and in the Health Center, as required by state and federal guidelines pertaining to public transportation and health care facilities.
  • Masks will be required in all indoor spaces for a full 10 days for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • A limited number of offices on campus may still require masks for all who enter, based on space constraints or services provided. Signs will be posted at the door to notify visitors.
  • Individual faculty members may set mask policies for their classroom. Those policies will be shared directly with the students in those classes.

Of course, anyone on campus may individually choose to wear a mask at any time or place, particularly those who are at high risk for severe illness or who live with a household member at high risk. We ask you to be respectful of others’ wishes and be prepared to wear your mask if you need to interact with someone who has chosen to continue to mask. All community members should continue to carry a mask at all times.

We previously required all community members to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Today, we — and much of the world — are at a very different place in the pandemic. Thanks to the now widespread availability of high-quality masks such as N95s and KN95s, each of us can determine our own level of comfort and protection in public indoor areas. That was not possible earlier in the pandemic, when supplies of masks were severely limited even in medical environments.

Today, one person wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask can protect themselves better than in the past when everyone in a room wore a cloth mask. That level of personal protection is important, and states and communities have taken it into account when lifting their mask mandates.

This is a significant moment for our campus, coming nearly two years after COVID-19 first uprooted our lives. While future variants are likely to emerge, we will know how to protect ourselves and each other thanks to the lessons we’ve learned since March 2020. We will always be vigilant and prepared to curb the spread of the virus but for today, this shift in masking represents our biggest, most optimistic step in returning to pre-pandemic campus life.

As always, any future changes to our health and safety guidelines will be communicated with you directly via email and shared on Faculty and staff can download signs about masking requirements for their offices or classrooms here or by visiting Back to Bentley. Thank you to all members of the Bentley community for your understanding and cooperation over the past two years. We are safer today because of it.

The Bentley University Cabinet

E. LaBrent Chrite
George Cangiano
Alina Chircu
Carolina Figueroa
Maureen Forrester
Jane Griffin
Liz Hess
Chris Joyce
Amanda King
Katie Lampley
Judy Malone
Rick Oches
Andrew Shepardson
Betsy Whipple