The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Officials discuss COVID-19 precautions as Rams return to campus

As Colorado State University prepares for hybrid courses, which mix online and in-person classes to limit the spread of COVID-19, Fort Collins’ elected officials are working to ensure a safe transition back to on-campus and City life.

After Colorado Gov. Jared Polis decided to close bars and nightclubs once again after a surge of new COVID-19 cases in June, it has become clear to some elected officials and other government employees that many Colorado residents have misunderstood the reopening process as a signal to go back to their prior ways of life.


As reopening stages continue, COVID-19 continues to raise questions between elected officials about what a new normal will look like, especially as discussions of a new wave of COVID-19 continue.

“What we don’t want to have is a second wave,” Mayor Wade Troxell said during an interview in June. “What we want to do is have the appropriate public health measures in place to … look out for the health and safety of our citizens and also the capacity that our hospitals can take. … In concert with that is the impact on our economy. … (A second wave) could have even more devastating impacts, not only on (public) health but on our economy.”  

Recently, CSU President Joyce McConnell released a list of 10 things for students to keep in mind as they return to campus for the fall semester. Masks, social distance, hybrid learning, reducing campus capacity and disinfecting spaces will all be tools used to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to this, students will be expected to clean their space and provided with materials to do so. Testing and contact tracing will be part of the return to campus, and classes will be moving online after fall break, according to CSU’s website.

I think, with COVID(-19), just saying ‘don’t hang out with your friends’ isn’t going to work, especially in the long-term, so ‘how do we hang out with friends and do that safely’ … is how I think we need to redirect the conversation.”-Emily Gorgol, councilmember

As CSU plans for a hybrid reopening in the fall, new questions about Fort Collins residents’ public health and safety are rising.

For example, how does Fort Collins continue to keep its community healthy as students who come from all over the country are reintroduced to the CSU campus, especially as COVID-19 messaging varies drastically by each city, county and state government in the United States? 

For this question, the answer may be tricky, but according to Councilmember Emily Gorgol, who represents Fort Collins District 6, which includes City Park and Campus West, the answer may lie in a familiar place: sex education.

“Just saying ‘don’t do it’ doesn’t work, because the best thing to (say) is ‘how do you do it safely?’” Gorgol said. “And I think, with COVID(-19), just saying ‘don’t hang out with your friends’ isn’t going to work, especially in the long-term, so ‘how do we hang out with friends and do that safely’ … is how I think we need to redirect the conversation. We need to stop waiting for this to end and think, ‘How do we live in this context?’” 

Gorgol’s view presents a solution to the cabin fever that those across the nation have struggled with. Similar to sex, there is no way to be perfectly safe in all encounters during the pandemic, even with social distancing and masks in use. However, reducing the risk and being as careful as possible still provides new options to those who are expected to restart work or in-person courses.


Gorgol and Troxell shared similar concerns that individuals are starting to have a false sense of security due to the state backing off of some restrictions, especially as students return for the fall semester and potentially return to weekend partying.

Both officials made it very clear that they had a positive outlook for CSU’s reopening, although Gorgol was unsure of exactly how the fall semester could play out in terms of students staying safe when interacting with each other in University housing and beyond. Since CSU students generally didn’t stay in Fort Collins as the pandemic started, it’s been difficult for her to predict exactly how perceptive students will be to new safety mandates in the fall.

“There’s a responsibility (that we have) to build it into our lifestyle, at least for the near future,” Troxell said.

The mayor also said that continuing to create a safe lifestyle in the fall would mean that following social distancing rules and that registering parties with Off-Campus Life will become incredibly important, although the party registration system has not been reopened through Off-Campus Life or the City of Fort Collins website at this time.

Editor’s Note: Kota Babcock is the news director at KCSU.

Kota Babcock can be reached at or on Twitter @kotababcock.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director
Kota Babcock is the 2021-22 arts & culture director for The Collegian and began the role in summer 2021. He's a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying journalism and media communication. Babcock grew up in Denver and immersed himself in the local alternative rock scene in middle and high school, looking up to writers at Westword. Additionally, he participated in marching band and won fifth place in the Museum of Contemporary Arts Denver's Failure Awards after creating a sculpture out of a book. While he originally planned to study creative writing at art school, Babcock found his home in student media at CSU. Currently, he serves as a mentor with All The TEA (teach, empower, advocate), an HIV-focused group within a Denver LGBTQ+ space. He works with KCSU as the news director. In his free time, he takes fun pictures of his bearded dragon, Sunshine, and makes dioramas of movie and video game scenes. In his work as arts & culture director, he hopes to feature CSU's cultural centers and lesser-known local artists and musicians in ways they haven't been previously. He looks forward to a year of writing and working with the local community to express their stories accurately. Kota Babcock can be reached at or on Twitter @kotababcock.
Devin Cornelius, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *