GSU Statesboro campus takes part in statewide mask ban protest

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Many Georgia Southern University faculty in Statesboro and Savannah want the Board of Regents to require masks on campus and other steps to limit the spread of COVID.

They’re gathering once a day each day this week. Faculty at Georgia Southern and around the state continue to gather and voice their concerns over what they say is a lack of COVID protections during this pandemic.

Wednesday marked the third day of a week-long campaign to urge the Board of Regents to require masks and bring back more of the other protocols that were in place last year. Speakers pointed out local hospital case numbers and the strain felt in the medical community caring for COVID patients.

Faculty members say they feel especially vulnerable in large class settings where they’re in even closer contact with people could be infected and not even know it.

“I actually had a class period where I was standing close to a guy who wasn’t wearing a mask, and an hour later he messaged me that he had tested COVID positive,” said GSU professor Marieka Van Willigen Ph.D.

Professors statewide have rallied as part of the American Association of University Professors. The state lifted many of the protocols from last year for the Fall 2021 semester.

They say they’ll be back here Thursday and Friday.

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