Patrick Swanson / October 26,2021

University of Georgia to Spend $8.5M on Campus Security Upgrades

University of Georgia to Spend $8.5M on Campus Security Upgrades

Athens, Georgia – Over the next three years, the University of Georgia (UGA) will spend $8.5 million to enhance safety and security on and near campus. The improvements will include more lighting, video surveillance, police officers and a rideshare program for students.
“As president of the University of Georgia, I have no higher priority than the health and safety of our campus community—students, faculty, staff, and the many alumni and other visitors who come here each year for programs and events,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in a statement on Tuesday.
UGA Today reports that the funds will support the following initiatives:

  • “Up to $1 million annually ($3 million total) to enhance overnight transportation options, including a rideshare program for students that would operate every night of the week. UGA is finalizing negotiations with several providers, with details to be announced following Fall Break.
  • “$1.5 million ($500,000 annually) for 10 new UGA Police Department officers and civilian support staff to be phased in over the next three years.

    University of Georgia to Spend $8.5M on Campus Security Upgrades
    Related: Ohio Awards $5M for Higher Education Campus Security Upgrades

Patrick Swanson / October 02,2020

Georgia Fans Weren’t Allowed to Tailgate on Campus So They Tailgated Off Campus


There’s a saying that water finds a way, and it’s not an especially big surprise that this axiom would apply to the SEC and tailgating. Tonight, Georgia is hosting Auburn for what is turning into sort of a blowout but on paper was the marquee college football game of the day in America. Ticketholders are permitted to set up a table at their cars, but grills, tents, and TVs are banned.
That’s on campus. Off campus, big parties persisted. Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Those same limitations clearly were not in force elsewhere around town as there were plenty tents, televisions and grills going outside the perimeter that encompasses the UGA campus. And despite several electronic signs posted at the edges of downtown Athens warning visitors that “masks are required by law,” very few of appeared to be complying. Then again, most of them appeared to have food or drink in their hands.
There was a major party going on underneath a big tent on the front lawn of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on Pulaski Street at the western edge of downtown. Meanwhile, up the steep hill that is Clayton Street, the Classic City was hopping pretty much like it would be most every home-game Saturday in a non-pandemic year. Sidewalks, restaurants and bars were busy and crowded. A long line snaked down the sidewalk outside Bourbon Street Bar on Broad Street, with no evidence of social-distancing and very few patrons wearing masks. There were similar scenes at Creature Comforts and Magnolias, with lots of young adults packed together, drinking and reveling in the clear, warm weather.
The full AJC story has some photos and some more context about where the parties were, and who was throwing them.

Patrick Swanson / August 21,2020

Emails Show Cherokee County, Georgia, School District Asked Students to Disinfect Classrooms


The email from the principal had a lighthearted, friendly tone, but the news she delivered was alarming: Three more students at Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia, had tested positive for the coronavirus—the fourth such letter sent to parents that week. 
That out of the way, she then moved on to what she called a “distraction,” noting that the high school volleyball team would be playing in a tournament the next day. “Come to CVHS to see our lady Grizzlies play at 9:00 10:00 or 12:30,” she wrote. “Go Grizzlies!”
Two days later, after 25 students tested positive and more than a quarter of the student body was placed in quarantine, the entire school was shut down.
In the three weeks since school started in Cherokee County, Georgia, three of the district’s six high schools have temporarily shuttered due to coronavirus outbreaks. As of Friday, 2,000 of the 42,000 students in the district were in quarantine.
But the county—once a heart of the Cherokee Nation, now a bastion of support for Donald Trump—has shown no sign of suspending in-person education or beefing up its policy of encouraging but not requiring face masks.
Many parents and teachers in the district—where one school wanted students to disinfect classrooms—say they are terrified of what will happen if the status quo is allowed to continue. 
“I kind of feel like Cherokee County has been the guinea pig for the state, or the nation,” said Meg Du Plooy, a mother of two Cherokee County students. “Just an experiment to see what happens if we open all the schools and have everyone come back in.”

Patrick Swanson / April 29,2020

Outbreak postpones graduation, cancels migrant school, opens door for online summer learning | Ga Fl News


MOULTRIE, Ga. — Coronavirus continues to take a toll on cherished annual events.
The Colquitt County School System announced Wednesday that Colquitt County High’s graduation ceremony has been postponed until sometime this summer.
Graduation was scheduled for May 23 at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
“Current guidelines in place and health concerns for students, faculty, and families have led to the cancellation of graduation on May 23rd,” county School Superintendent Doug Howell said in an email to The Observer. “Graduation will be held at a later date during the summer when it is safe to do so. The plan will be to hold a full-scale graduation at Mack Tharpe Stadium on a date to be announced later.”
However, students have already ordered graduation supplies. Herff Jones representatives will distribute those supplies — including caps, gowns and  the stoles and cords for honor and merit graduates — from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 5, at the high school.
Students should bring their ID.
Students will stay in their cars and drive through the car drop-off/pick-up line, and Herff Jones representatives will hand the senior supplies through the car window.
Anyone who still owes money for senior supplies should contact Herff Jones at or (229) 382-6837, or pay with cash or money order on the date of pickup.
Migrant school
Also canceled by coronavirus was Colquitt County’s Migrant Education Program.
The session was originally scheduled for June 1-19, but continued concerns about the health of both students and faculty have prompted the school system to cancel it for this year, the system said in a press release.


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