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BYU students express concern over lack of masks and social distancing

The welcome sign to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. (Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

PROVO – Are students at BYU going to comply with mandates to wear masks now that classes have kicked off for the year?  Some reports say the school’s enforcement on the order isn’t off to a good start.

The Daily Universe posted a student-made video showing large gatherings of students moving back to campus last week.  In one segment, a student outside Helaman Halls pointed out large groups of students who weren’t social distancing or wearing masks.

(Video Credit: The Daily Universe)

He says, “This is outside my hall.  I don’t think they be getting the concept.”

The University reports two large gatherings of more than 100 people happened last week.  Campus Police Lieutenant Rich Christianson says those weren’t actual parties, but were impromptu gatherings that happened as people were moving back to school.

He says, “I think that was just students coming back and seeing their buddies or making new friends, and somebody called that in.”

However, Christianson says they aren’t the ones that have the authority to break up groups in student housing.  So, they didn’t break up these groups.

“It would be up to the resident assistants and hall advisors at the dorms,” he says.

Christianson says, since last week, students and faculty have been doing a better job wearing masks.  It’s too early to know for sure, but Christianson says practically all of the students he saw on the first day of classes were covering their faces.  Officials at Utah State University are reportedly noticing the same thing. 

USU News Director Emilie Wheeler says, “Some people just have to get into the habit of wearing a mask.  I think that’s the trouble with a lot [of people].”

Wheeler says the school can’t guarantee student safety when they attend parties or other events off campus.  That’s why they’re calling on everyone in the surrounding community to help them by also wearing masks. 

“What I’ve noticed is Logan City, itself, has a higher degree of compliance that some surrounding communities in the valley,” she says.

 

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