At the Student Government Association Senate meeting on Sept. 21, the Campus Services Committee introduced the Personal Health Decision Resolution. This resolution proposes that Samford’s indoor mask mandate be lifted and the decision to wear masks indoors be the personal decision of each student.
The Personal Health Decision Resolution passed in the Senate by a 2/3 majority vote on Sept. 21. From there, the resolution was sent to SGA President Tyler Kendall to be signed or vetoed.
After much consideration, Kendall decided to veto the resolution. At the Student Senate meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5, Kendall announced the veto to the Senate, giving the reasoning behind his decision.
“We can’t include the word ‘optional’ in a resolution because I believe in passing legislation that will actually make a change on campus, and this would not do anything. Administrators would rip it up, put it past them, and move on to something else,” Kendall said to the chamber.
However, the Campus Services Committee introduced a new resolution at the Senate meeting on Oct. 5. The committee met with Chief Strategy Officer Colin Coyne last week concerning the COVID-19 numbers on campus. After receiving data from Coyne and considering responses from the administration and constituents, the committee drafted a revised version of the Personal Health Decision Resolution.
The new Mask Recommendation Resolution states that “the new guidance from administrators should reflect that masking be recommended in all indoor areas of campus and required in classrooms until further notice.” This differs from the Personal Health Decision Resolution because it ensures the protection of professors and faculty by still requiring masking in classrooms.
This new resolution has not been expedited and will be voted on in two weeks at the Senate meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19. This will allow enough time for results from the random sentinel COVID-19 testing to return and the university to have more accurate information on the rate of positive cases on campus.