Freshmen Not Following Health and Safety Guidelines
Less than 48 hours after school began, a large group of freshmen were pictured gathering at South Housing’s E Field and sand volleyball court. While many in the photo appear to be wearing masks, no social distancing protocols are being followed. This came just one day after President Davis’ email to the Furman student body urging everyone to follow health, safety and physical distancing practices to ensure that the Fall 2020 semester can have in-person lessons for all students who wish to return to campus.
The pictured gathering appears to be in direct violation of the Paladin Promise, an agreement signed by all students before their returned to campus. Part of the agreement states that students share social responsibilities to protect themselves from the spread of Covid-19, such as “adhering to Furman-specific social distancing guidelines.” These guidelines state that maintaining six feet apart from other people is the proper social distancing method. In the pictured gathering, none of the students appear to maintain a 6-foot distance.
In response to the photo and the general accusations of first year students not adhering to health and safety guidelines, a student living in the freshmen housing complex said, “in [housing] lounges, it’s usually a 50/50 split between wearing masks and not.” The student also mentioned that “[housing staff] have been trying to report violations, but it’s difficult right now because they don’t know names. Student staff have to do full reports on students but anonymous reports on faculty.” In a rough estimate after being on campus for the first week of class and living in freshmen housing, the student predicted that “roughly 75% are wearing masks, but they are the same people who spend most of their time in their rooms and away from the large gatherings.”
As for the sophomores and juniors awaiting their return to campus due to the phased move-in plan, frustrations continue to build towards those already on campus who knowingly violate the guidelines set forth by the university. Several sophomores, juniors, and even students already on campus took to the comments of the social media post and urged their peers to practice better social distancing methods. Approximately three weeks remain until the planned return of second and third-year students to Furman’s campus. This return will heavily rely on the status of Covid-19 on Furman’s campus. According to recent Furman Focused updates, “Our plan to maintain a healthy and safe campus is sound. It now rests in the hands of our students and employees who must commit each and every day to upholding the Paladin Promise.”