Call the Chair of The Board of Regents to make sure we are heard
Jul 20, 2020 —
On July 20th at noon United Campus Workers of Georgia and allies participated in the nationally coordinated Strike for Black Lives as they delivered the petition signatures of over 10,000 Georgians to the Chair of the Board of Regents, Sachin Shailendra, demanding the following:
Masks will be provided and required for every campus community and enforcement will not involve the campus police.
No staff, student, or faculty member will be compelled to work on campus. No medical documentation will be required.
Free, frequent and accurate COVID-19 testing will be available for the entire campus community.
From across the state, people will be calling in, urging him to hear our voice and agree to a safe and equitable continuing return to campus. Given the disproportionate impact of the Board of Regents' decisions around COIV-19 on Black communities all over Georgia, action on this day feels urgent.
Call 1-888-894-6720 and remind Chair Sachin Shailendra that over ten thousand Georgians have spoken! Feel free to use some of the inspiring comments left at the bottom of the petition as part of the script for your call. Hear our voice!
The University System of Georgia shut down all campuses on March 13th when, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia had 266 cases of COVID-19. Now, in the month of July, 3,000 - 4,000 cases are reported regularly every single day. And yet the Board of Regents has said that we will return to face-to-face instruction in three weeks time without the key assurances demanded above.
After extensive media coverage in The New York Times, the AJC, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and on NPR, they have listened to reason and granted masks as mandatory. However masks are not going to be continually provided, and enforcement may well involve the campus police. Meanwhile, faculty, staff, and students who do not want to be on campus–for example, those with high risk family members–are being told they must return to dangerous campus environments, even though their work can be done remotely. And several campuses have informed faculty that all testing and contact tracing will be run through the county public health department, already profoundly overburdened before complete return. In some regions of Georgia testing appointment wait times are one week or more. Contact tracing is nearly nonexistent in the state.
We delivered these signatures in hopes that the Board of Regents understands the pivotal role they play in the health and safety of campuses, workers, students and communities all across Georgia and agrees to these common sense demands.
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