COVID-19 Presenting Challenges on College Campuses

COVID-19 Presenting Challenges on College Campuses

Jessica Simmons, Staff Writer

Welcome back students! Today is the start of a brand new school year, new people, and new experiences. Unfortunately, if you frequently enjoy attending large social gatherings such as parties, you may suffer from the consequences of the stern policies on campus involving COVID-19.  During these past few months, everyone has been secluded in quarantine. Therefore freshmen college students worldwide are eager to start something new and seniors are thrilled for their last year. The worrisome question emerges, are they too pumped for the start of their college season?

Many college students are facing the harsh reality after the first week of college. Multiple students have been suspended for attending parties and large social gatherings due to the recent ban on most college campuses.  Some of these colleges include Purdue University, and IU Bloomington as they set strict rules into stopping the spread of COVID-19.  

“The problem is not unique to Indiana or the Midwest” (Ginger Rough, August 21, 2020, “Some Indiana college students are partying — and paying for it with suspensions”, August 25, 2020, [])

Purdue suspended 36 of its students who went to a party on Wednesday after violating the safety rules. Those rules had been placed less than 24 hours ago. The dean of Purdue said that they have been clear and consistent with the students, enforcing the Protect Purdue Plan and the rules they needed to follow. 

Purdue University has been clear and consistent with our messaging to students about the Protect Purdue Plan and the expectations they would need to follow if they made the decision to be on campus this fall.” (Sermersheim, Katie Purdue’s dean of student).

Not long after Purdue addressed the issues of parties on Wednesday, videos and photos were circulating all over social media showing an enormous gathering of students failing to wear a mask and social distance on IU Bloomington’s campus.

On Thursday IU Bloomington put on Twitter, “We are aware of this situation and are actively investigating.” The University further mentioned they are identifying the people that went to the party and giving them suspensions due to violating city and county guidelines endangering the health of the IU community.

In South Bend, Notre Dame University reported 75 infections on Thursday after giving 494 tests that were taken on Wednesday. This shows that 15.2% of those tests came back positive for COVID-19. The university has blamed it on off-campus parties given 70% of the student body who tested positive lived off campus and attended off campus parties.

A senior at Notre Dame, Elijah Riojas, puts both the blame on the students and the administration. Riojas states, “We wouldn’t be experiencing this caseload if we weren’t on campus, so that’s on Notre Dame. Also we wouldn’t be experiencing this caseload if people would follow the procedures, so that’s the students’ problem.”

As a senior in high school I would like to experience college life after I graduate. So, my fellow college students who are partying, please wear masks at social distances whenever possible. Keep your families and friends safe. Thousands are dying and at risk due to COVID-19. I’m advising that you make smart decisions on behalf of the safety of others and you as an individual, to enhance the college experience for everyone during this hectic time.