In defiance of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for group gatherings, Georgia faculty and students have coordinated weeklong protests of the University System of Georgia.

The students are gathering to demand that the university system implement a mask mandate on all of the state’s publicly-run university campuses.

“Choose events that take place outside with enough space for attendees to stay at least 6 feet apart,” the CDC’s guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19 say.

But that recommendation is not stopping the hordes of pro-mask students and faculty from gathering to tell the university system to follow the CDC’s masking recommendation.

Grady Newsource, comprised of student journalists at the University of Georgia (UGA), posted a video of one of the protests held Monday in Tate Plaza at the UGA campus.

The protestors are clearly not following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

Despite that, the protests will take place at 17 campuses across the state, according to CNN.

The university system has encouraged students to wear masks.

“The University System of Georgia recognizes COVID-19 vaccines offer safe, effective protection and urges all students, faculty, staff and visitors to get vaccinated either on campus or with a local provider,” it said in press release. “Additionally, everyone is encouraged to wear a mask or face covering while inside campus facilities. The system continues to work closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health to prioritize the health and safety of our campus communities.”

One faculty ringleader of the protests, UGA Assistant Professor Usree Bhattacharya, says that implementing a mask mandate in the school system is about doing the right thing.

“It is high time that (the Board of Regents of the USG) do the right thing,” she reportedly said. “This is not a time for politics. It is not a time for ideology. It is time for compassion.”

Another protest leader, Georgia American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Chapter President Matthew Boedy said that the protestors intend “to achieve is an immediate mask mandate” via their demonstrations.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Pro-Mask Mandate Protesters” by Grady Newsource.