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Georgia Southern faculty rally for mandatory masks

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Faculty at universities across Georgia rallied Monday to put pressure on state higher education leaders to make changes.

One of those sites was Georgia Southern University’s Statesboro campus. At the very least, they want mask rules similar to the last academic year. They say that, along with a vaccination, gives them a better chance to avoid the virus, even in crowded classes and elsewhere.

Faculty gathered to let their voices be heard. Members of the American Association of University Professors held the first of five assemblies this week. The one in Statesboro mirrored others all over the state. Professors say face to face classes without mandatory masks puts everyone at risk.

“So I have about 150 students and I teach three classes back to back to back. So on a regular day, I have 450 students who I’m in close contact with,” said GSU Professor Diana Botnaru M.D.

Those gathered for the rally said they’re focused on the Regents and the University System of Georgia that relaxed the pandemic protocols much too soon in their eyes.

“There didn’t seem to be a lot of opportunity for even the scientists at Georgia Tech to advise otherwise,” said Michelle Haberland Ph.D.

Organizers hope leaders in Atlanta take note of these rallies and don’t view them as a few professors on one campus.

It’s faculty, and staff, and students united across the state who know that the best thing for us to have a mask mandate like we had last year.

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