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University of Idaho, College of Idaho discusses coronavirus precautions following Boise State fraternity suspension

Three Boise State fraternities and 18 students were suspended following reports of large gatherings.

BOISE, Idaho — Three fraternities at Boise State University have been suspended after the school says they held "large gatherings" in violation of the university's coronavirus policies.

Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Phi, and Kappa Sigma fraternities have been placed on interim suspension. Eighteen students have also been suspended in connection to the gathering. Some of those students are members of the three fraternities, others are not, according to Boise State. 

"Keeping campus open, safe and healthy has been our top concern, and we have educated our students about the risks associated with large gatherings. This included specific communication with students in our fraternities and sororities," said Dean of Students Chris Wuthrich. "The majority of our students are doing what is required of all of us — wearing facial coverings, practicing physical distancing and not planning or participating in large gatherings. But, in order to remain open, we must have the cooperation of all of our students. Students who do not comply with university policies and orders will face sanctions, including removal from campus."

The university says it is committed to following the rules and guidelines related to public gatherings, facial coverings and infection prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus. 

Last week, University of Idaho President Scott Green sent a memo to students after receiving reports of off-campus parties. That message has been taken seriously by students, according to UI communications director Jodi Walker.

"The majority of our students want to be here, they told us from the get-go and over the summer that they want to be here and they want to be in-person," Walker said. "They're acting in such a way and we have seen a change in behavior in the students who were choosing not to do that and things have been much calmer since."

Each student is required to take a Healthy Vandal Pledge in order to be on campus. The pledge includes a promise to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Closer to Boise at the College of Idaho, Director of Marketing and Communications Joe Hughes said everyone on campus must agree to The Yote Pact in order to be on campus.

The agreement states that students will follow certain safety guidelines throughout the semester.

All classes at the College of Idaho are online, but students can choose to live on campus. As of now, there have been no incidents of large gatherings.

"Our residential living is optional, so those who want to come on have to agree to the Yote Pact," Hughes said. "If they don't agree to it or adhere to it, they may be asked to leave."

It is unknown how long the Boise State suspensions will last.

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