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UT staff and students call for COVID-19 vaccine requirement, mask mandate at rally on campus

The Texas State Employees Union organized the event with UT student government, faculty and staff organizations, graduate student activists and more.

AUSTIN, Texas — A group of students and employees at the University of Texas at Austin are calling for stricter COVID-19 policies on campus. The Texas State Employees Union (TSEU) organized a rally Wednesday at the UT Towers demanding the university commit to their demands.

The group is asking that UT require students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend class or go to work. It also is asking for a mask mandate inside and at large outdoor gatherings and COVID-19 testing at least once a week.

Members of TSEU, UT Student Government, faculty and staff organizations, graduate student activists and more will present signed petitions and letters to UT President Jay Hartzell’s office. They have collected thousands of signatures regarding the COVID-19 policies, according to a press release.

“Though the delta variant is spreading rapidly – particularly in areas with low vaccination rates and without mask mandates – UT Austin and UT System leaders are shirking their responsibility to their workers, students and the surrounding communities by not standing up to Gov. Abbot’s dangerous and anti-social refusal to follow public health guidelines,” the press release from TSEU said.

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, members of TSEU and UT faculty and students are set to speak at a press conference following the event.


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