Jackets Protect Jackets Program Offers Safety Kits, Virtual Events
Coach Geoff Collins hands out PPE kits as part of the Jackets Protect Jackets program. Credit: Student Government Association
As students return to campus for the fall semester, the safety of all members of the Georgia Tech community is a top priority. The Student Government Association (SGA), in conjunction with several campus departments and the Georgia Tech administration, recently launched the Jackets Protect Jackets (JPJ) program to promote safe practices and behaviors and help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Jackets Protect Jackets is designed to encourage all students to stay healthy and protect their fellow students by following public health guidelines throughout the semester. The program has three main components: distribution of safety kits to students across campus, an ambassador program, and Jackets Protect Jackets Week, which will fill the first week of classes with themed days and virtual events.
The Protect Jackets Student Safety Kits contain two reusable face coverings, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and information about testing and contact tracing on campus. Students can pick up their own kit at one of several locations across campus, which will be operational through Friday, Aug. 21. In the first four days, SGA handed out 2,600 kits. View the dates and times that each location will be open here, or see a map of all of them here.
All students living on campus will receive their own personal protective equipment (PPE) kit from the Department of Housing. SGA, however, has packed enough of its own kits to distribute to all Tech students, regardless of their residential status. Greek Housing and religious organizations also received kits directly from SGA as part of an effort to reach everyone on campus.
The group’s partnerships with campus departments have been crucial to the implementation of the Jackets Protect Jackets program. SGA has worked with Emergency Management, Health and Safety, Athletics, and the Office of Development on everything from logistics to donating merchandise. SGA has also worked closely with Tech’s on-campus asymptomatic surveillance testing sites in cross-promoting their efforts.
Student organizations are also getting involved in Jackets Protect Jackets. The Ramblin’ Reck Club, for example, has made the iconic Ford Model A an honorary Jackets Protect Jackets Ambassador. That means that whenever students see the mechanical mascot driving around campus this fall, they can always go up to it and get their own safety kit.
But it’s not just the Wreck that’s serving as a JPJ Ambassador. All students, whether they’re living on campus or taking all of their classes online, are welcome and encouraged to join the program. Ambassadors will be passing out kits, carrying extra masks around campus for those who don’t have one, and sharing safety information on social media. Over 180 students have already signed up to be JPJ Ambassadors; those interested in joining can learn more and apply here.
“We really are trying to create a culture where mask wearing and social distancing are the norm, rather than the exception,” said Grace Swift, vice president of communications for SGA. “If everyone is provided proper PPE, that’s the first step in taking these precautions seriously.”
Finally, SGA plans to populate the first week of classes with virtual events as part of Jackets Protect Jackets Week, beginnng Aug. 17. Each day of the week will be themed:
- Mask Monday
- Testing Tuesday
- Watch Your Distance Wednesday
- (Contact) Tracing Thursday
- Flatten the Curve Friday
“The Jackets Protect Jackets program is a critical piece to helping ensure the campus can adjust to a new normal,” said Caleb Torres, chief of staff for undergraduate SGA. “As we move into a new, strange semester, the JPJ program will hopefully leave a lasting impact on the Georgia Tech community as we join together to protect our fellow Jackets.”