Consequences for partying to be ENFORCED this semester
Jessica Guerrucci – Editor-in-Chief
Partying is ingrained with college culture, but now with COVID-19 limiting gathering sizes, parties have become more widely discouraged.
“My hope is that the message is getting out there,” said Joseph Dooley, Southern’s police chief, “Someone might test the system, but the system is in place.”
As of Sept. 15, there have only been 12 positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, and while Dooley said parties may still happen, students have been generally accepting of the new guidelines.
The policy, as stated on the Reopening 2020 website, said “If an on-campus residential student hosts a gathering in violation of state/university social distancing protocols, the student will be immediately interim suspended and referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary resolution.”
Additionally, any student, student organization, athletic or club sport team hosting a large off-campus gathering will be subject to both law enforcement action and an immediate interim suspension.
As for parties on-campus that occurred on campus, Dooley said they have not had to break any up yet, however they were notified of one that took place at North Campus Midrise.
“That was handled by ResLife and Student Conduct and the host of that is certainly facing some consequences,” said Dooley.
He said a meeting was also held for all those who attended the party to reiterate how important it is not to gather in large groups with COVID-19.
From what he has observed, Dooley said everyone seems to be doing a good job following COVID-19 guidelines.
For off-campus parties, Dooley said the city of New Haven is greatly concerned about it, so they did a walk around the neighborhoods where they knocked-on doors of known locations and spoke to the occupants.
“It was to reiterate that New Haven will take enforcement action,” said Dooley. “The landlords have been notified, so I think it’s the right thing to do, it’s the safe thing to do.”
Music major Jazaun Charles, a freshman, said he believes students will still party because they can be ignorant.
“I feel like they don’t really fear the virus so I guess that’s why they’ll still have parties – but they shouldn’t,” he said.
While Charles said it can be viewed as selfish to continue to party, he also cannot blame them because it is not their fault the virus is here.
Exploratory major Jonathan Willams, a sophomore said he “100 percent” thinks students will still party.
“It’s what college kids do,” he said. “They just like having fun and this whole ‘fourth phase’ or whatever, people are starting to care less.”
Healthcare studies major Mary Seward, a sophomore, said she thinks students party, but they are more “low key” about it.
“My brother actually goes to a different college and the college that’s next to him had a big party and COVID-19 broke out, like 400 people got it and it came back to his college,” she said.
Seward said she will not party, but she understands how it is a part of college culture.
While police are aware of other parties going on. Dooley said he does not want to end up like other colleges where students need to be sent home.
“It’s so important to emphasize that we are not doing this,” he said. “We’ve had a good look throughout the nation at the some of the schools that had summer classes and students were not taking it seriously.”