ATLANTA – Some faculty and staff on Monday kicked off what is expected to be a week of protests across multiple campuses in Georgia’s university system.
Participants want the Board of Regents, which governs the 26 schools in the university system, to reinstate a mask mandate.
The BOR demanded that people wear masks indoors on USG campuses last school year, but dropped the mandate in May this year after the CDC said those vaccinated could do without of face coverings.
Dr Janet Frick, professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, said the BOR should reinstate this requirement due to the current increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide.
“The numbers just don’t go for a ‘Well, if you feel like it’ approach,” Dr Frick said. “We need our leaders at our university to speak out for science-based policy, and we need the governor and board to institute science-based and evidence-based policies.”
Dr Frick also called on the university system to impose vaccines.
The UGA event drew a significant number of counter-protesters outside the Tate Student Center.
“Clarke County, Georgia [is] 55% unvaccinated. It’s their choice, “explained Mike Francis, who is studying for his doctorate at UGA.” They made this choice for the American reasons they want to make.
The protest at Georgia State University on Monday was much smaller, but Jaque-Corey Cormier, an assistant clinical professor at the School of Public Health, said the demographics of their students made the issue even more critical.
“We attract more than 18 to 25 year olds,” Cormier explained. “We are attracting parents. We are attracting people who are going back to school in their later years, veterans and also people who still live with their parents or live with young children. So for the State of Georgia in in particular, this issue has a different significance. ”
He said the campus being located in the middle of the city of Atlanta and not isolated from the wider community is another reason for more precautions.
More demonstrations are planned every day this week.
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