The Coronavirus continues to be an ongoing discussion across Idaho.
Schools and universities are debating and figuring out how to re-open with many schools opting to go “virtual” to start the school year.
One university in Idaho is focusing on another aspect of their student’s lives when it comes to Coronavirus. The University of Idaho is frustrated by alleged reports of some of their students partying off and on-campus and says that their activities threaten the university’s ability to re-open campus.
U of I President Scott Green threatened students with possible expulsion if they do not stop the parties.
Recently, the university released something called the “Healthy Vandal Pledge” which is what students and employees were to follow in order to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus.
The pledge has a number of things that the university wants the “Vandal family” to do. Two of those things are social distancing and wearing masks.
President Green sent out a memo to students saying that he is frustrated by reports of partying and that expulsion may be necessary.
Green cites several universities that have already expelled students such as Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and Purdue. Additionally, Green cites universities that have closed down because of alleged spikes in Coronavirus cases such as North Carolina State University and Notre Dame.
After mentioning issues in other cities, Green says this about disciplinary action,
Our Dean of Students Office and the Moscow Police Department are following up on these off-campus parties. We will place students into our disciplinary process who flagrantly violate city ordinances and institutional policy which, if found responsible, could lead to suspension or expulsion. Where we identify a fraternity or sorority chapter engaging in similar conduct, we will hold these organizations accountable through the Fraternity and Sorority Life disciplinary processes that could lead to relocating first-year students out of the house or even closure of the chapter.
Green then appears to encourage people to tell on others if they are witnessing violations of the Healthy Vandal Pledge.
We need your help by keeping the Healthy Vandal Pledge and helping us identify and separate those who do not.
In addition to this letter, another letter from Green states that any student wishing to attend in-person classes will be required to have a Coronavirus test. So far the university says that the results are less than 1% positivity rate.
Idaho Dispatch sent an email to Green asking him several questions about the current situation at the Unversity of Idaho.
We received responses from the University of Idaho Director of Communications Jodi Walker.
On how many parties the university is tracking and how many or have been reported Ms. Walker said,
We are not tracking any specific party. We had some areas of concern in locations adjacent to our campus. Our Dean of Students and Moscow Police visited these locations and talked to the residents.
Another question we asked was if the university was encouraging students to turn each other in if they witnessed parties happening and Ms. Walker said,
We do encourage students (and others) to let us know if they see something unsafe – like large gatherings without social distancing or face coverings. But even more, we encourage and empower them to act like the adults they are and model good behavior, be leaders even when that is hard.
Finally, our last question was how many parties they are looking into had positive Coronavirus cases or outbreaks and Ms. Walker told Idaho Dispatch,
Public Health does contact tracing and who they contact is not necessarily shared with us. We are not aware of any cases being traced back to a party
What do you think of the party situation at the University of Moscow? Should the university be concerned with off-campus parties?
Let us know in the comments below.
You can see the full letter from Green below.memo-200821-eckles-green-lawrence
Tags: Coronavirus, Fraternity, Healthy Vandal Pledge, Scott Green, University of Idaho