Alumni Support for GSSM's Decision to Remain Virtual for Fall 2020

Alumni Support for GSSM's Decision to Remain Virtual for Fall 2020

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Shane Farmer started this petition to SCGSSM Alumni Association

Dear Governor McMaster and Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM), 

We want to thank each of you for your support of our beloved alma mater, especially during this pandemic affecting the globe. Today we write to you because of the health crisis and our concerns for the safety of the GSSM community. We have been informed of the Task Force formed by the school’s administration to study the safest way to provide the exceptional educational experience GSSM has provided for over 30 years. The previous members of the Board of Trustees were informed of the recommendations and voted twice to maintain virtual in lieu of in-person instruction. 

We all recognize the importance of in-person learning and the positive impact the residential experience had on our lives and continues to have on current students. However, at this time with the rising rates of Covid-19 around this state, our nation, and the world we urge and request you all to honor the Task Force’s recommendation and the previous Board of Trustees’ vote to only offer virtual coursework for the fall semester for the safety, health, and well-being of the students, the faculty, and the staff of GSSM. We are concerned about the effects in-person instruction could have on members from at-risk communities: older at-risk faculty and staff and individuals with compromised immune systems. These concerns are compounded when you consider the enclosed environment of the school, which could create outbreak conditions similar to cruise ships, skilled nursing facilities, prisons, etc. If in-person instruction is allowed students, faculty, and staff will travel between their homes and the school, which means the negative effects of Covid-19 infections will spread beyond the school and put their loved ones along with people across the state at risk of exposure.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and your consideration of the safety of the GSSM community. The Alumni Association looks forward to working with and supporting a virtual experience this fall. 

Thank you, 

SCGSSM Alumni Association

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