News and Announcements

ASM Passes Support of Increased UW COVID Safety

Posted: 2023-02-10 21:45:51   Expiration: 2033-02-20 21:45:51

ASM Logo  Associated Students of Madison
  333 East Campus Mall, 4301 Student Activity Center, Madison, WI
  Website:   Phone: 608/265-4ASM   


10 February 2023

Meghan Savaglia, Press Office Director

ASM Passes Support of Increased UW COVID Safety

MADISON, WI — On Wednesday, February 8th the Associated Students of Madison met for their second meeting of the spring semester. The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to debate & discussion of the COVID Working Group Legislation proposed by Equity Inclusion Chair Emmett Lockwood. 

The legislation, which was previously introduced at the last February 1st meeting, is based on an open letter to Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin penned by the “UW Workers COVID Response Working Group.” The UW Workers Group, in tandem with Chair Lockwood, built the legislation in order to assist the UW Workers group in drawing attention to decreasing COVID measures at UW-Madison. The UW Workers Group hope to secure a meeting with Chancellor Mnookin to discuss COVID measures on campus.

The legislation details how COVID precautionary measures & adjustments– such as on-campus PCR testing, flexible attendance policies, and the campus COVID-19 dashboard– have been discontinued in the last year. Furthermore, the legislation details how the university can offer flexible accommodations to both students & staff in regards to masking & COVID concerns. 

At the Open Forum portion of the meeting, members of the UW Workers group expressed their support. Many cited the importance of COVID prevention measures to protect immunocompromised & disabled students, staff and faculty. Speakers also included data on how “long COVID” can impact & disable individuals post-COVID infection.

“The measures outlined in this resolution would significantly contribute to making a safer, more inclusive community for all,” said Open Forum speaker Susan Nossal. Speaker Kaitlin Sundling added, “The resources to prevent COVID transmission on campus are simply and readily available, UW only has to provide them,”

Debate ensued amongst Student Council members, particularly around the topic of masking & masking requirements. The original UW Workers group open letter included a call to reinstate the campus mask requirement. Student representatives discussed how a campus masking requirement may be unpopular amongst the general student population. The UW Workers group, prior to the Student Council meeting, agreed to remove the portion of the open letter which called for a mask mandate if the ASM Student Council deemed necessary to do so in order to pass the legislation and meet campus concerns.

The legislation was amended to remove portions supporting a campus wide mask mandate, and instead providing further clarification on how students should seek accommodations through the McBurney center in regards to masking. 

This legislation passed with a vote of 13 yays, 2 nays, and 4 abstentions. It can be viewed in its amended form here.

The next Student Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd at 6:30 p.m. on the 4th Floor of the Student Activities Center at 333 East Campus Mall. 


-- Associated Students of Madison: Meghan Savaglia