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FSU Graduate Assistants march for COVID safety

Posted at 11:18 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 23:18:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida State University graduate assistants say they want to see more requirements in place to protect students and staff.

Dozens of advocates marched to the steps of the Westcott Building to support Jordan Scott as he delivered a list of their demands to campus leaders.

"Even if we can't require masks," said Scott, "we say that you can give students a list of options that they must be in compliance with at least one. That can be masking, recent negative COVID tests, vaccination, flex classes, you could have remote work or social distancing practices."

If a student fails to comply, instructors could then ask the student to leave or end the class. They also want the university to put their money where their expectations are by demanding that the University pay the medical bills of any student or employee afflicted with COVID-19.

"I would like to make sure that I feel safe as well as covered medically if I were to of course test positive for COVID," said graduate assistant Liz Hutchinson.

Newly seated university president Richard McCullough said they're doing everything they can to keep campus safe while complying with orders from the Governor.

"That's probably the biggest challenge right now, is trying to make sure that we stay within the guidelines that the state recommends," McCullough said, "but also make sure that the students stay safe so that we can give them as close to normal opportunities that they would normally have when they come in."

The university told ABC 27 that President McCullough has given department heads and deans the authority to develop alternate solutions and make the appropriate accommodations for those who feel that they're at risk in the classroom.

Graduate Assistants also plan to present their demands to the University Board of Trustees during their meeting on Friday.