BSU taking extra steps to slow the spread of coronavirus

Posted at 9:02 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 11:02:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University is taking additional steps to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus in the Boise metro area.

A statement from BSU says changes include:

- Urging the small percentage of students remaining in on-campus dormitory-style housing to relocate if at all possible — though accommodations will be made for those who cannot.

- Postponing, canceling or moving online all campus events through the beginning of May — including the university’s signature recruiting event, Bronco Day, which will be reimagined as a virtual experience for potential students and their families from around Idaho and the country. A final decision has yet to be made about the May 9 commencement.

- Closing all facilities to the general public, including the Student Union Building and the Albertsons Library, and requiring ID cards for access across campus.

- Reducing on-campus operations — but working to maintain the university’s vital research operations when possible.

- Temporarily freezing hiring and job-posting across campus, with some exceptions to be determined by the provost and vice presidents.

Last week, the university encouraged students to return home for the remainder of the semester, while shifting all face-to-face courses to remote delivery. The university says increased threat of transmission and the changing guidelines from federal and state public health experts have made it impossible for BSU to be able to safely serve students in dormitory-style housing — especially if students returning from spring break will need to self-isolate to prevent any chance of spreading the virus from other states.

In addition, increased travel restrictions and local and regional moves outside the state of Idaho to require citizens to “shelter in place” could prevent students from reaching their families if they wait to return home. Campus staff will assist these students with making arrangements to move home, as well as supporting those students who need to remain.

“I understand the personal toll this is taking on our students, our faculty and our staff,” said Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State’s president. “It is hard for most of us to imagine what it must be like to risk losing the joy and celebration that surrounds final weeks of your senior year in college, or the lifelong friendships and intellectual growth that blossom in the final weeks of your first year in campus housing. We also recognize that our faculty and staff will face personal and professional hurdles as we adapt to these challenges. We know that university communities are facing this around the country and the world."

“We will continue to do all we can to serve our students and our community through this crisis,” Dr. Tromp said. “The pace at which this situation has evolved has required us to be nimble. As a public institution that serves the state of Idaho, our efforts are designed to care for the health and well-being of our campus and the larger community.”

Up-to-date campus information can be found here.