Helpful hints: Campus hangout spots good for social distancing

From left, Alyssa Cooke, then-freshman in architectural engineering, Christine Moran, then-freshman in architecture, and Sarah Rose, then-freshman in general engineering, hammock in the warm afternoon of March 15, 2018 on the west side of Ackert Hall. (Archive photo by Tiffany Roney | Collegian Media Group)

This fall is set up to be an odd one for Kansas State students. The university has announced new social distancing guidelines and a mask mandate for everyone on campus, among other restrictions.

Campus is a social place: Students study everywhere, group project members meet in study areas, clubs host meetings and friends congregate for coffee. With limited space and capacity restrictions in places like coffee shops, libraries and the K-State Student Union, the question that is likely on K-State students’ minds is, “How can I spend time on the campus in a safe way?”

Here’s a list of possible places that K-Staters can spend time in the spot they love full well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Hammocking

If you’ve walked through K-State’s campus when the weather is pleasurable, you’ve likely seen groups of friends reading, relaxing or even napping in their hammocks on campus. This unique hobby could be a great way for friends to spend time together outdoors, and it can be done safely as long as hammocks are not set up too close together.

2. Memorial Stadium

Next to the Alumni Center and the union, World War I Memorial Stadium is an outdoor complex with a turf field and paved track. Memorial Stadium could be a great spot for working out with friends while being outdoors to limit germ transfer, with the option of staying six feet apart.

3. Call Hall Dairy Bar

If you’re looking for a spot to grab a treat while avoiding large crowds, the Call Hall Dairy Bar might be a good spot. On the edge of campus, this famous spot isn’t always packed, and the shop is big enough to spread out from other groups of students inside. Outdoor seating is also an option.

4. Study rooms

If you and your roommates or close friends are looking to spend time on campus together but are trying to avoid coming into contact with anyone else, study rooms might be a good spot to go where you will be all by yourselves. Private study rooms can be found or sometimes even reserved in Hale Library, the Business Building, the Engineering Complex and more campus buildings.

Overall, many students want to get back on campus and return to normalcy in Manhattan. However, measures like wearing face masks, staying six feet apart and avoiding other groups must be taken in order to limit exposure to COVID-19.

Glenn Kinley is a senior in entrepreneurship and journalism. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to