COVID-19 Faculty Support Statement

The Student Planning Association 2021-2022 Board stands in solidarity with Georgia Tech faculty as they demand mandatory masks, vaccines, and surveillance testing

September 21, 2021

Dear Georgia Tech Community and the Georgia Board of Regents, 

 

We are writing to you today as graduate students deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of our professors and classmates. Georgia Tech’s COVID-19 safety protocols are dangerously inadequate, and they put our faculty members and students at risk. While we urge Georgia Tech to continue pushing for stronger COVID-19 policies, we also recognize that Georgia Tech cannot enact stronger COVID-19 policies until the Georgia Board of Regents amends their current stance to not enforce masks, vaccines, or testing. Faculty members have been protesting the Board of Regent’s COVID policies, demanding that they mandate masks and COVID-19 vaccines for the University System of Georgia.  We are in full support of the faculty members at Georgia Tech that have been protesting this week, and we echo their demands for a mask and vaccine mandate.

 

Without support from the Board of Regents, Georgia Tech is unable to mandate masks, vaccines, or surveillance testing - all practices that the CDC has stated are effective to controlling the spread of COVID-19. Instead, Georgia Tech professors and students are expected to attend in-person instruction with only a recommendation to wear masks and no system of accountability to confirm vaccination status or surveillance testing results, putting every member of our community at risk. These weak policies unduly burden individuals to ensure public health and safety without any administrative support or clarity. Georgia Tech is a world-renowned institution because of our incredible faculty and their research, teaching, and mentorship. Forcing our professors to put their own safety in jeopardy without giving them any protections is reckless and disrespectful to their countless contributions to our university system.  In the first half of September alone, there have been almost 300 positive cases at Georgia Tech, not including the cases that have gone unreported from lack of required surveillance testing. Propping up a dangerous work environment for our faculty and staff, as well as their families, in no way gives them the respect and consideration they deserve.

 

Georgia Board of Regents, we wish to remind you of your mission to “create a more educated Georgia, well prepared for a global, technological society, by providing first-rate undergraduate and graduate education, leading-edge research, and committed public service.” None of that is possible without our faculty. By failing to implement stricter COVID-19 policies, you are risking the safety of the students and faculty you serve, which directly contradicts your mission to provide us with a first-rate education. We stand by our professors as they demand a mask and vaccine mandate.  Prioritize our safety and wellbeing over profit and politics. 

 

In solidarity, 

 

Student Planning Association 2021-2022 Board