S.C. Attorney General’s Office says UofSC violating law by requiring masks at campus buildings

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 10:05 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office say the University of South Carolina’s requirement that people wear face coverings at all campus buildings is in violation of the law.

The university announced last week that face coverings are required at all times inside of campus buildings unless a student is inside their residence hall room, a private office, or eating inside dining facilities.

On Monday, Wilson wrote a letter to UofSC Interim President Harris Pastides stating that the university could not mandate this particular face mask requirement and cited a proviso in the state budget which prohibits mandatory wearing of masks at colleges that receive appropriated funds.

“Accordingly, it is important that the University not only abide by the Provisos but that it protect the constitutional liberty of students, faculty, and staff,” Wilson said in the letter.

In addition, Wilson asked for clarification from the university regarding vaccinations, and that they are not currently imposing a policy requiring one.

According to its Fall semester guidelines, returning UofSC students who live on or off campus must either provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, a proof of prior positive COVID-19 infections within the last 90 days, or a completed COVID-19 vaccination record.

“We do not read this Policy as either requiring vaccinations or in coercing them. Thus, we do not believe the Provisos are violated by the testing Policy. Please confirm the University is not imposing a Policy requiring vaccinations,” Wilson said in the letter to Pastides.

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