Boise State urges students remaining on campus to continue social distancing

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Boise State has asked that all students living on campus still in the Lincoln Townhomes to practice social distancing with students they are not living with. 

A group of students were caught trespassing and not practicing social distancing on closed campus facilities, such as the Lincoln Townhomes volleyball courts and other areas of campus, according to John Kaplan, associate vice president of Boise State Public Safety.

“We can’t allow that, but we certainly understand people need interactions with others and friends, but in-person is too dangerous,” Kaplan said. 

No citations were given, according to Kaplan, who said the encounters with officers are supposed to be more informative about why the practice of social distancing is for the best. 

“We are really not interested in trying to make anything punitive,” Kaplan said. “We just want to remind people you really can’t be this close or engage in this kind of activity and make sure they stop essentially and go back to complying with that social distancing order.”

Although the university does not have a formal policy for social distancing, they ask that students follow the state and federal guidelines to keep everyone safe, according to Kyrsti Wyatt, assistant dean of students.

All activity regarding the university of the Boise Police and university security officers is given in reports to the Office of Dean of Students in partnership with making sure the campus is staying safe. Wyatt will determine if a report, such as students not social distancing, is something she can problem-solve for the university.

“It’s not a policy violation for you not to social distance, but trespassing would be a policy violation,” Wyatt said. “So, I have not asked for any names of the people who have been contacted by police security in the last week, partially because we understand what students are going through. This is tough [for them].”

Brynn Wharton is a junior computer science major and still living in Lincoln Townhomes by herself. Due to Wharton’s asthma, she chose to stay in Boise so she would not have to travel and risk exposing herself to illness.

“It was really tough at first, obviously, I wanted to hang out with people and although asthma isn’t an overarching [immunocompromised]thing but it is very scary,” Wharton said. “If I were to get something because other people wanted to play volleyball with their friends for a few hours when I’ve been trying so hard to just stay at home and be good [would be frustrating.”

Some of the things Wharton has been doing to keep herself busy and entertained are baking bread, teaching online Facebook Live tap classes, having Zoom trivia nights with her family, talking to friends on Zoom and going on walks and bike rides on the green belt.

“My family and I will continue that [trivia game night]even after the stay-at-home order is not in place,” Wharton said. “So, some benefits are coming from it, but human interaction is so important and I just can’t wait to get back to life. I’m a huge hugger, I can’t wait to hug somebody.”

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