‘A little less “Animal house”’: Inslee pleas for leadership from college students during pandemic

OLYMPIA, Wash. — After addressing the ongoing wildfires in Washington State, Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday turned his attention back to the coronavirus pandemic in Washington.

Much of Inslee’s focus was on college students who have returned to their communities despite colleges offering online learning.

“You’re really important to our state right now,” Inslee said to college students. “Because you’re going back to colleges where you may be in remote learning, but you’re living in apartments and dorms where you’re living close and you have a desire to socialize. That’s just deadly right now.”

Inslee cited a report from The New York Times that said Pullman, home to Washington State University, was the number two hot spot in the nation for new cases recently.

In the past two weeks, there have been 600 new cases in Pullman; that’s 6.4 cases per every 1,000 people, Inslee said.

The governor said he was appreciative of the Pullman Police Department, which has been issuing nuisance party infractions.

A nuisance party violation is an ordinance that prohibits anyone from hosting or allowing a gathering or party, and from allowing certain activities at an event. Current state regulations mandate gatherings cannot surpass 10 people.

For a first violation, the party host will be fined a minimum of $250. A second violation will result in a minimum fine of $350. After that, the civil infraction will become a misdemeanor.

Inslee said everyone in the state needs leadership from college students right now.

“This is not a moment where typical partying is safe,” Inlsee said. “It’s just dangerous.”

Inslee said it’s not just students at Washington State who need to step up and mentioned recent outbreaks at University of Washington fraternities.

“We hope when you return back to your colleges you have a little more safety and a little less ‘Animal house,’” Inslee said. “Because that’s what we need right now.”

Watch a full replay of Inslee’s coronavirus update below: