CCU Singleton Building

Coastal Carolina University’s Board of Trustees voted Monday to end their mask mandate on Dec. 13, and their vote included an immediate exemption for all performing groups. 

“As we’ve discussed in previous situations, we heard from trustees that face-to-face instruction was of paramount concern as is the safety of our campus. The fact that we made it thus far and we want to continue to finals and graduation,” said CCU President Dr. Michael Benson.

The board met in September to revisit the mask requirements made at the beginning of the semester. At that time, they decided to keep all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wearing face coverings indoors across all spaces except private offices and individual residence halls.

In September, the university said that students who refuse to wear a face covering indoors could be held accountable via the Code of Student Conduct.

Dr. Jim Solazzo, vice present for student success, enrollment management, and student affairs, said that the number of freshmen who plan on returning for the spring semester is at 2,199 versus last year’s total of 1,829.

The total number of undergraduates who have built a schedule for the spring semester is up 3.9%, Solazzo said.

For the week of Nov. 4 through Nov. 10, CCU saw 3 new positive cases in students and two in employees. There have been 471 positive cases since July 29.

Benson said that in the past, the campus has seen a spike of COVID-19 cases after student holiday and they expect the Thanksgiving holiday to be the same.

“A big concern from the student success side - finals week is very important,” Solazzo said, noting they want everyone to come back healthy from the break and be able to successfully complete their final exams and not miss anything due to quarantines. “We would like to see them finish with good grades and get home safely.”

According to the university’s “Vax to the Max” vaccine incentive statistics, 56% of staff and 40% of students are currently vaccinated.

CCU’s incentives include entering vaccinated students into a drawing to win a $2,500 scholarship. This drawing for four scholarships will take place every week for 10 weeks in the fall, and 10 weeks in the spring. The total in scholarship money is $200,000.

The Chants will also award two full-ride scholarships for one semester including tuition, room, and meal plans. Those scholarships will be announced Dec. 6, 2021 and April 28, 2022.

Find out more about their incentive program here: https://www.coastal.edu/vaxincentives/

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