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Letter to the Editor: Social distancing puts cramp in family atmosphere

On September 25, 2020

 

NEW ORLEANS (September 25, 2020) – Social distancing and online instruction is affecting Dillard’s family-oriented atmosphere.

Dillard is known for its beautiful campus and its welcoming spirit. Our ultimate form of greeting is hugging. Events such as basketball games in Dent, Music Mondays on the terrace and Kearny parties play prominent roles within the family fabric of this small campus with tight-knit bonds.

Not so much in a pandemic. Nowadays, the majority of students stay in their residence halls and in their rooms more than ever. And online instruction inhibits face-to-face interaction, reducing another opportunity for interaction.

Limiting social interaction can debilitate the human spirit. Solitary confinement is considered to be the worst punishment a human can receive and is considered torture. In 2015, a research psychologist at Brigham Young University found that having a friend present can reduce a person’s cardiovascular response to a stressful task. A correlation has been reported even between perceived social connectedness and stress responses.

Despite the negative effects of social isolation, some argue our campus environment is more harmonious than ever.

Lauren Rhodes, SGA director of student success, said the student organization is committing to providing activities safety.

 “Student leaders are pushing to do programming, and inclusive events whilst ensuring social distancing structures,” she said. “The mask-up campaign is in itself a family-orientated effort. It encourages the notion of caring about one another, and mask-up because we love our university and our community.”

 

Kalaya Sibley

Sophomore

Mass Communication

Dallas

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