AMS VP External Kalith Nanayakkara and staffers gathered in AMS offices without physical distancing or wearing masks, according to a social media post viewed by The Ubyssey.
The AMS enforced mandatory mask usage in the Nest starting September 14. Periodic announcements from Nanayakkara and VP Academic Georgia Yee play over the PA systems reminding visitors to wear face coverings.
A since-deleted picture on AMS Advocacy Committee member Mahmoud Borno’s Instagram story posted the afternoon of October 24 shows Nanayakkara and eight other individuals standing within two metres of one another in AMS offices without masks.
The story caption appears to celebrate a staffer’s birthday. AMS President Cole Evans confirmed there was a “small celebration” for an AMS staff member today with nine individuals in the offices.
AMS offices are located on the third floor of the Nest.
“I’ve had the chance to talk to some of the individuals involved. I think there’s a recognition that there could have been more duty of care put into that,” he said, adding that the individuals involved “regret that lack of judgment.”
To address the issue, Evans said he will send a reminder to staff on the AMS’s COVID-19 protocols.
An AMS councillor raised concern earlier this month with the society’s passive enforcement strategy after reports of Nest visitors not complying with the mask policy.
He said on workdays, everyone wears masks and respects physical distancing rules.
“Those rules in the AMS offices apply all the time, not just during the work week. I think that we have reminded our personnel that that is still the case.”
Evans added that the AMS has been communicating to students throughout the pandemic that we all have to work together.
“Everybody who works at the AMS is a student leader on campus and it’s important that we lead by example.”
— with files from Charlotte Alden