Even as many universities made it clear that partying students will be thrown out without tuition refunds, many students from various colleges and universities partied hard on the labor day weekend. Most of them found a convenient space in public parks, riverside, and other places.
The Covid 19 situation is not looking like stopping, which has increased a lot in colleges across the country. Despite strict instructions from colleges, students have once again shown irresponsible behavior, and it has put the entire university community at risk.Universities in Boston have strict corona virus mandates for students on campus. But as students move away from campus for such parties, they are able to make good use of the loopholes in the guidelines. Massachusetts has a limit of 50 members for outdoor gatherings in defined spaces, but there is no cap on places like Charles River Esplanade. The students got enough opportunity to party in such locations that did not have restrictions.
However, students are defending their behavior and saying that they are taking enough precautions, and they understand the seriousness of the problem. They say that as every student undergoes testing, the ones having symptoms are already isolated, and they cannot attend parties. They also ensured that outsiders did not have access to the parties as they cannot guarantee that they have undergone testing. Some students also felt safer at universities as they are regularly tested for covid 19. Back at home, they feared that they could pass on the virus to parents, but here they feel safe as everyone is tested negative.
At Indiana University, the organizational activity had to be suspended as some positive cases were recorded, and local community members were ordered to quarantine. However, some houses have still hosted parties even when they have had positive cases. The situation is not the same everywhere, as some members are taking extreme precautions, and this has given good results with no positive cases. The scene at local pubs was different from the usual. Students who were visiting the pubs were asked to record their temperature, and anything above normal was sent back. Apart from that, they had to wear masks strictly and were only allowed to remove them when they are at the table.
Considering so many restrictions in pubs and bars, many students preferred to party in outdoor locations that were open throughout the night. Students made good use of public places around the campus and enjoyed their party throughout the night. The campus police, which was patrolling the area, did not stop them. Some students took the party to the nearby lakes, and they enjoyed drinking and dancing on double-decker boats. Some boaters saw students enjoying themselves on such boats, and they even threw thresholds into the lakes during the party. They had three boats tied together, and the students moved freely between them during the party.
Students who wished to party at clubs had to wait in long lines to enter the clubs as they had opened to limited capacity. Many students complained that they did not get a place to dance freely and all the fun was missing in the parties. When asked about wearing masks during parties, many students said that they are still getting used to such new norms, and they may forget to wear them sometimes due to excitement. However, most of them agreed that the fun was missing this year, and they were trying to make the best out of this situation.
The indoor parties at apartments also had a dull look as many people did not want to overcrowd on such occasions. Apart from that, they also felt that wearing a mask at an indoor party felt strange, but they could not take the risk as outsiders were present at the events. The neighbors also complained in some cases when the music got too loud, and the party had to be slowed down, keeping all these things in mind. Students felt that too many restrictions spoiled the mood of the party-goers, and they did not enjoy the parties.
As the debate continued about reopening universities this season to bring students back to campus, it was evident that students also had a tough time coping up with the pandemic. As the strict guidelines spoiled the fun even during the day to day activities, it was difficult for them to build social connections in these difficult times. Apart from that, the online lectures and zoom calls did not help much to bring in a social structure to the campus. Given this situation, some students threw caution to the wind during such parties.
The situation of Covid 19 is nothing but encouraging, and many universities are struggling to keep students safe. Many experts believe that it is not possible to impose strict restrictions on students as they will not work in the long run. They believed that if students are not willing to follow the restrictions, they will always look out for some loopholes to break the restrictions and enjoy their parties. In this regard, everyone can be only as safe as they want to be, and the authorities had little choice in this situation.
Such events were common during most weekends and holiday season, and the common public also had parties in this season. Considering this, only students cannot be blamed for hosting such parties as most of the inhouse parties had limited members. Even that too was from a close group of friends, and each one knew the other person. In this way, it was nothing more than a family gathering, and it should not be viewed seriously just because the students are a little loud during their parties.
Some universities have even taken strict measures to stop such gatherings inside the campus and suspended students whenever they violated the guidelines. However, students always find a way to get around the system, and they have managed to party outside the campuses in most places. It would be interesting to see how the situation pans out with regards to Covid 19 cases on the campuses in the future.