SFA Lumberjack distance bands allow students to express contact comfort level

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Students at Stephen F. Austin State University thought of an easy way to social distance with voluntary color-coded wristbands. The Lumberjack distance bands show others how comfortable individuals are with close contact.

The bands come in red, yellow, and green and are used to express a person’s comfort level regarding proximity to others. Green means a person is good for all contact, yellow means the person is more hesitant for direct contact, and red means the person is not okay with physical contact. SFA Junior Landry Crawford thinks the concept is a good idea.

“I thought it was the best idea that they could possibly come up with with all of the government restrictions that the school’s having to deal with right now. There’s not really much that they can do to help students that are worried about the pandemic,” Crawford said.

Crawford and her friends were wearing the bands around campus, but she said that some students are not taking the initiative seriously. The distance band concept is entirely voluntary.

“Some people respect it and some people don’t respect it. I think a lot of people kind of see it as a joke, especially because we have a lot of social media platforms through the school that have been making jokes about it and that’s causing a lot of students to pick up on those jokes,” Crawford said.

Andrew Dies SFA Dean of Students is wearing a yellow wristband.

“It was really just an opportunity for folks as we transitioned back to being on campus and being around other people. Everyone feels a little bit different about that physical proximity and touch so it was a neat way just for us to pick whatever color they want and just get the message out,” Dies said.

Dies said stations with the bands are placed all over campus. Some of the stations have already been refilled. It is up to the student or staff member to decide the color they want regardless of vaccination status.

Dies said that the bands are engraved with the words respect the band, meaning the university supports whatever color a person may choose.

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