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VSU talks changes for semester in town hall, mandates masks

School officials held a virtual town hall Wednesday addressing several changes students can expect for the fall semester, including a mask mandate.
School officials held a virtual town hall Wednesday addressing several changes students can expect for the fall semester, including a mask mandate.(WCTV)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) - School officials held a virtual town hall Wednesday addressing several changes students can expect for the fall semester, including a mask mandate.

The live video conference was made up of leaders from several departments like administration, student affairs, housing and auxiliary services. It was shared live on YouTube and Facebook.

"It will be a rather different experience than we've had in the past. We're following both CDC and Georgia Department of Health guidelines very very closely," Provost and Vice President Dr. Robert Smith said.

They're also following guidance from the University System of Georgia, which stated Monday students of all 26 public universities throughout the state are required to wear masks on campus.

"Please be considerate of the health of your fellow Blazers and wear a mask," Dr. Smith said.

The fall semester will kick off on August 17 with in-person classes.

"I would rather the classes have been online, but since we are going back and we have masks, it does make me feel better about the decision," VSU student Shanta Johnson said.

Johnson also does clerical work for both the chemistry department and the library.

“I’m very grateful for it, especially since I am a student-worker on campus,” she said. “Like my job is to interact with students and everything, so that also makes me safer to do my job.”

VSU graduate Jennifer Hayes is also onboard with the mandate.

"You're not only protecting you, but you're protecting others from getting sick as well," Hayes said. "I feel like we all should be able to like at least do one thing for each other, and that's to wear a mask."

For anyone breaking the school's newest rule and refusing to mask up, Dr. Smith says there will be consequences.

“There certainly will be penalties through the Student Code of Conduct and through human resources,” he said.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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