As we near the beginning of September, schools for all ages are starting to reopen their doors, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic still ravaging the United States. This includes college students returning full-time to campus for the first time in almost six months. But as many college students reacclimate into this social environment, they are deciding to take the social part too literally in the midst of the pandemic.
While it is normal for students to socialize and party, COVID cases on college campus have drastically spiked. As outbreaks continue to make campuses around the country hotspots for the virus, some colleges are closing their doors before they can even open.
According to The Guardian, college towns across the United States have had to reimpose shutdowns after a spike in cases caused by students partying in large numbers. Columbia, Missouri’s health director announced that bars must stop serving alcohol by 9PM and close by 10PM after more than 300 students at the University of Missouri tested positive for coronavirus. As of Friday, at the University of Alabama, 481 more students have tested positive, bringing the total to over 1,000 students. In response the Tuscaloosa mayor closed its bars for two weeks.
The University of Alabama outbreak is one of the largest COVID hotspots at any university since the beginning of this academic year. In addition to the bar shut down, the school stopped in-person student events and restricted access to Greek houses. Under the University’s reopening plan, students have the option of moving to fully online instruction, and can remain on campus or return home.
However, some universities are acting more harshly, but reasonably, to students’ reckless partying. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was one of the first schools to decide to kick people off campus and hold no in-person classes. This comes after 130 students tested positive for COVID-19 within the first week of school beginning. The positivity rate among students rose to 13.6%, in addition to the five employees who also tested positive. UNC has also kicked three students out of campus housing for “failing to follow standards.”
Many other schools have been forced to strengthen their standards and rules during the pandemic due to students not adhering to current rules. The University of Miami, as of August 25th, reported 141 positive cases of Coronavirus. Due to this spike in cases, a campus-wide curfew of 10 PM has been put in place, in addition to food services becoming takeout only.
However, while many issues have been caused by students partying, it appears that many students have started protesting and suing schools for endangering the lives of students and faculty by forcing in-person classes. Dozens of class-action lawsuits have been filed against colleges with most students seeking reimbursement for housing, dining, and other on-campus services. This is due to the fact that many of these students are paying full tuition to receive less than adequate education. Currently, at least 70 universities and colleges are facing these lawsuits; however, most of these lawsuits are from June.
In terms of this semester, 93% of students believe that classes being held online should have reduced tuition. Many college students are launching online petitions threatening more lawsuits seeking tuition discounts at college.
And many students are already angered by the partying going on at other universities. One tiktoker, Chinforshort, created a viral video last week declaring that if he sees any partying going on on campus, he is willing to rat people out. Other creators on the popular app have also expressed their willingness to report people to campus security if they are seen partying.
While it sounds like many students are going back to college just to enjoy the social scene at college, most students are, in fact, over the stupidity that has occurred before some classes even begin. Majority students want to receive a proper education, and that is being ruined by a few students. Yes, college students are going to party, but for the time being, it is important to remember that if the sooner we stop partying, the sooner we will get back to our normal lives.