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SSC Regents approve mask requirement amid COVID-19 concerns

The Shawnee News-Star
Chair Curtis Morgan (left) was sworn into his new term by Seminole attorney Ed Cadenhead at the SSC Board of Regents meeting on July 23.

The Seminole State College Board of Regents approved a measure that would make the wearing of face coverings mandatory on campus at their meeting on July 23. 

To open the meeting, Seminole attorney Ed Cadenhead administered the oath of office for Chair Curtis Morgan. Morgan was recently reappointed by Governor Kevin Stitt. His new seven-year term as a Regent will conclude on July 1, 2027.

Next, Interim Vice President for Fiscal Affairs Courtney Jones presented the financial report. She shared with the Board that the College has been able to provide financial assistance more than 600 students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. Student distribution of the CARES Act funding is ongoing.

During the President’s Report, President Reynolds provided a personnel update and outlined changes the College is implementing to safeguard student health in the fall due to the coronavirus. The College is installing sanitization stations, purchasing air filtration equipment and disinfectant spraying units, installing protective plexiglass shields, contracting with an outside cleaning company to ensure high traffic areas are maintained and restructuring classes to accommodate social distancing.

President Reynolds also informed the Board that the NJCAA will postpone all fall sports until the spring semester. SSC fall sports include volleyball, soccer and basketball.

President Emeritus Dr. Jim Utterback then provided a brief update on the planning and construction progress of the Brian Crawford Memorial Sports Complex. In September, the process of laying down turf for the fields is set to begin.

With the first item on the agenda, the Board held an election of officers. While the presumptive Chair was set to be Regent Ryan Franklin, Franklin declined serving in that role due to his work and travel schedule. President Reynolds suggested current Chair Regent Curtis Morgan remain in his position for the coming fiscal year. The Board approved this action. Regent Franklin will continue to serve as Vice Chair and Regent Ray McQuiston will continue to serve as secretary.

The Board then approved the second item on the agenda, a declaration regarding the required use of face masks on campus as a safety precaution. Employees, students and visitors will be required to wear a face covering unless they are alone in an enclosed room, are engaged in an activity where a mask would not be feasible—such as eating or drinking, or have provided documentation to the Human Resources Office that compliance is not possible due to medical reasons.

“I believe this is an important step to take to help ensure the safety of our employees, students and campus visitors,” SSC President Lana Reynolds said.

Board members present at the meeting were: Curtis Morgan, Marci Donaho, Kim Hyden and Ray McQuiston.

The next regularly scheduled SSC Board of Regents meeting is set for Thursday, August 20, 2020.