There has been some confusion regarding the mask policy at the University of Tennessee.
After the announcement made on Aug. 2 regarding masks at UT, many individuals have raised concern about Chancellor Plowman’s social media posts. The announcement said that students, faculty and staff are to wear masks in indoor spaces where they are required to be, classrooms and labs.
In one Instagram post on Aug. 12, there were 69 comments, nearly all of them disapproving of Plowman not wearing a mask.
A UT student with the username @julia.nadeau wrote, “I thought we had to wear a mask? Practice what you preach.”
Another UT student, @gabe.eck, also commented on the post, saying “why do i have to wear a mask indoors if you do not.”
Meanwhile, students have not been the only ones with comments.
In the same post, @jennlej67 said, “No mask hypocrisy.”
On Twitter, someone with the username @GBOdave commented on a different post of Plowman’s. “This goes against your mask policy. What is it gonna be Ms. Plowman? I don’t like inconsistency especially with my #Vols! And I’ve been seeing a lot of it lately!”
Amidst the confusion, Plowman has offered a statement regarding the mask policy.
“The university implemented a limited mask requirement for classrooms, labs and required indoor academic events like orientation. The first orientation event began on Aug. 13, and classes began Aug. 18. These are all places students have no choice but to be,” the statement read.
“Mask use is at an individual’s discretion in other circumstances. The requirement does not extend to other university activities or locations. For example, masks are not required in residence halls, dining halls or while studying in the library.”
There will also be a class offered this fall taught by Plowman, and she will be wearing a mask in the classroom.