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'I didn't feel safe, so I quit': Georgia Tech RA says it's more important to 'stay alive' than risk exposure

Some students on campus don't think the Georgia Board of Regents is doing enough to protect them.

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech students hosted a "die-in"on campus to protest COVID-19 safety standards as classes begin. 

Some students back on campus are really concerned about their safety.

11Alive spoke with a former resident assistance on Monday who said he was so worried about what he saw the first few days back, he quit his job and went home.

"I really didn't want to if I didn't have to, but I really didn't feel safe. It's not great," Rhett Redshaw, a 4th-year student explained. 

He has been a resident advisor at Georgia Tech for the past two years, but when he went back to campus this year, he was immediately uneasy.

He said students weren't wearing masks consistently or staying six feet apart and he felt like it was too dangerous to stay on campus.

RELATED: UGA college students excited, nervous to move on campus amid pandemic

"Between all of the interaction we would have to do, and all the people not taking safety precautions, it was better for me to choose to stay alive and healthy than risk getting COVID-19, he said. 

While he elected to do the rest of the semester at home, thousands of students chose to stay on campus.

Sixth-year student Chaselyn Baca started an Instagram account to document what she and other students were seeing on campus in the first few weeks.

"We were getting a lot of submissions to Instagram for people not social distancing, not wearing masks," she said. 

However, some students online think the situation is getting better - and people are wearing masks more often. 

Fourth-year student Kelly O'Neal said she's been pleasantly surprised by how many more students are wearing masks and socially distancing now that they've settled in to campus. 

RELATED: Teachers weigh in on in-person versus virtual learning debate

However, Baca, said there are a lot of people who still feel like the Georgia Board of Regents isn't doing enough to keep students safe.

"These students are giving so much of their money and their lives to this institution, so it's their responsibility to protect them," she said. 

Some Georgia Tech students hosted a "die-in" on Monday to protest the conditions on campus with COVID-19.

Baca just wants people to know what's going on.

"We are not trying to victim blame students or call them out for not following policies, we want people to know it's the administration," she said. 

Baca and Redstone think students are being put in an unfair situation.

"I didn't feel safe, so I quit my job and came home," said Redstone. 

Rhett said he's hopeful he'll be able to return to Georgia Tech on campus next semester, but only if the COVID numbers start going down.

On their website, Georgia Tech outlines everything it's doing to protect students, including: 

  • Increased cleaning and scheduled closing to disinfect common area spaces.
  • Providing resources for students to self-clean or wipe down kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas, if desired.
  • Facemasks Required
  • COVID Positive Students Relocated

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