Masks optional at NSU, other BOR universities starting May 10

Students walking on campus

ABERDEEN, S.D. – With spring semester coming to an end, the South Dakota Board of Regents has announced a first step toward normal operations for Northern State University and the five other regental institutions.

Starting Monday, May 10, NSU and the other BOR universities will become “mask optional” environments. Social distancing restrictions will also be lifted.

“Our system has continuously responded to changing circumstances caused by the pandemic,” said Brian L. Maher, the regents’ executive director and CEO, in a BOR news release. “With vaccines now widely available, our institutions are eager to adjust as we look forward to the fall semester. Administrators will continue to monitor conditions, making the best decisions possible with information available to them.”

At Northern, all existing protocols remain in effect through this week. That includes the spring commencement ceremony on May 8, where masks and social distancing are required.

Planning is currently underway for fall semester, when the BOR intends for universities to fully return to normal campus operations.

NSU Acting President Veronica Paulson said the move to a mask optional campus is an exciting step toward normalcy.

“After an unprecedented year full of challenges that have required the constant ability to adapt and be flexible, we’re thrilled to have reached this point,” Paulson said. “On behalf of NSU Senior Cabinet, I want to thank our students, staff and faculty for their efforts this year to keep our campus and community safe and healthy.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and, soon, an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $120 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.