I know that my twitter thread has turned into an ongoing UGA covid outbreak thread, but I feel like I need to provide some context about why this matters so much to Black and Brown students/alumni/local residents, and how this is a microcosm of national politics.
1/?
Important pieces of historical context: UGA was not integrated until 1961. In 2020, Black (9%) and Latinx (5%) students are still deeply underrepresented at the flagship university.
2/?
UGA discovered the remains of slaves under Baldwin Hall and handled the matter with utter disrespect, without crucial voices from the local Black community, and without meaningfully addressing UGA’s history of slavery.
3/?
redandblack.com/uganews/docume…
Also important to know: UGA is over 1/4 greek. Greek life is largely white and very expensive. There continues to be an “invisible” color line when it comes to rush.

Traditionally Black fraternity/sororities do not have access to beautiful mansions on Milledge Ave.
4/?
Stories like these are constant. When I was a student, frats prominently displayed confederate flags. Last year a frat was suspended for a racist video. goodmorningamerica.com/living/story/p…
How is this related to covid?

Black fraternities have been treated much more harshly for hazing vs white greek life. As white greek letter orgs flagrantly flout social distancing rules, there’s an unspoken awareness that the consequences would be fast & swift if they were NPHC.
Meanwhile, all that happened to white greek life is a stern letter from the VP of Student Affairs. In response, the white IFC passed a thin bill to “tighten” their covid measures. redandblack.com/uganews/uga-if…
Today the IFC student president wrote a letter to Kemp to *PRAISE* the governor and UGA’s president for their “successful” 🤣 measures and beg their help to get the Athens-Clarke County govt to enforce local laws and contain the outbreak at bars. flagpole.com/news/in-the-lo…
This is would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so dire since
1️⃣ Kemp’s executive order has tied the local government’s hands from enforcing jack shit
2️⃣ greek life has been packing bars and blatantly flooding social media with hashtags of their costumed date nights
The other dimension here is Athens itself and the stark gap in representation, money and power between the town and gown communities — and how much that gap has widened since the 1990s.

29% of Athens-Clarke is below the poverty line; 35% of population is BIPOC.
In the 1990s the HOPE scholarship was a gamechanger for students like me. It guaranteed in-state tuition for HS students with B average. I wouldn’t have been able to attend without it.

But the scholarship was funded by the lottery. And in 1995, the income cap was abolished....
That means that low- and moderate income folks were paying for a scholarship and rich people of any income bracket were benefiting.
gbpi.org/wp-content/upl…
By the late 90s a massive shift happened: wealthier students who might have gone out of state now opted to remain in-state with lots of extra money to spend, and low-income students more likely left behind. 40% of students lose scholarship after 1st year. ajc.com/news/local-edu…
The power dynamics that play out are are clear: a sorority is home to the governor’s daughter; another greek org seems to have had an attorney draft a liability waiver to be able to host a social during a pandemic.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was Ana Cabrera.

In late July the first UGA staffer died of covid. Ana was afraid of going to work. She was only 32.

She had no reported risk factors other than being Latina.
redandblack.com/uganews/acc-co…
While white UGA can party it up and then sleep easy knowing that they’re the least likely to be seriously impacted by covid, Black and Brown students don’t have the luxury.

78% of deaths in people under 21 were Black and Brown. sfchronicle.com/health/article…
And a recent survey found that people experiencing poverty in Athens are less likely to have health insurance compared to 2 years prior onlineathens.com/news/20190614/…
Wealthier students, typically from the Atlanta suburbs, have cars and can get to the best care 1.5 hr away if needed.

Others will need to turn to Athens’ 2 smaller hospitals, which face a critical shortage. Region E is currently at 95.7% capacity. redandblack.com/athensnews/ath…
Just as Trump made his calculation based on who his base is and who will die, UGA/USG’s joke of a covid policy is a reflection of their values stakeholders and financial interests, and is a final middle finger to Black & Brown folks thedailybeast.com/despite-covid-…
“Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed just over half of the 19 current members of the Board of Regents that oversees Georgia’s public colleges and universities.” — and yet Kemp has the audacity to claim he has no power over USG’s decision.
FIN, probably.

#BlackLivesMatter
#JereMustGo
Follow @UcwgaUGA and @AriannaMbunwe

Go here on Thursday, Friday and Saturday ✊🏽
One more thing!

On Weds, UGA releases its weekly covid report, which gives the veneer of transparency but is designed to reveal as little data as possible about the extent of the outbreak at UGA.

3000+ cases, an undercount for sure

But on Thurs is the *real* reporting...
.@ceid_uga has been monitoring covid in the wastewater to monitor for spikes and trends. Those numbers come out on Thurs — and they’re the ones to watch. covid19.uga.edu/wastewater-ath…
2 weeks ago, UGA reported a 4x increase in cases while wastewater report saw 10x spike. What will the discrepancy look like this week?

Caveat that it can’t predict # of cases, but reveals if there’s more virus in sewage, either via more cases or severity.
denverpost.com/2020/09/07/col…
A really great piece on @lipp_lab’s work researching wastewater surveillance as a tool to help contain covid (but that also requires an administration willing to fund public health interventions to do something about changing trends!) wsbtv.com/news/2-investi…
Today's covid numbers are out. UGA doesn't have much credibility to stand on, so it's hard to believe this is the full story. I'll wait until tomorrow's data.

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