SDSU president asking students to take personal responsibility on and off campus to help protect against COVID-19

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – It’s just under a week since students started classes at SDSU. Due to the pandemic, many precautions are in place to help keep students and staff safe while on campus. But what about when those students head off campus?

At all public universities in South Dakota, wearing a face covering is required if you’re going to be in a public indoor space on campus.

“As far as I see everyone in class is always wearing it, once you get outside the building they take it off, but doing what they are supposed to be doing,” student Andrew Reisch said.

“We’ve been very pleased with behavior on campus, we’ve not really had any compliance problems with students wearing their masks in the buildings so that is great,” president of SDSU, Barry Dunn said.

However, it’s when students go off campus that is raising some concerns.

“On campus you see a lot of people taking the precautions, off campus it’s a little different, the bars are full, people are going out, people are going out to eat,” student Sawyer Schwebach said.

“We are concerned about it, we’ve had examples of some very large gatherings and we are going to address this week,” Dunn said. “We are in discussion with the city about city ordinances and our student conduct policy for off campus students and we have authority and we need to exert it, this is a pandemic, this is serious.”

That’s why President Dunn is urging students to take personal responsibility to protect not only themselves, but others.

“It’s a tough message to convey to young people that while they may be asymptomatic, other people in their family or on this campus or community, maybe be impacted very seriously so we need students not only to cooperate for their own benefit but for an entire community of people,” Dunn said.

President Dunn sent a message to all students last week asking for their cooperation to follow department of health and CDC guidelines.

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