• By Madelyn Sipola

Partying this semester can result in long-term consequences for students

As face-to-face classes come closer to starting, students have returned to campus to continue their college experience. However, as COVID-19 continues to make major impacts, students need to take social distancing practices into consideration.

Coastal Carolina University opened the campus to new and returning students on Aug. 19, for the fall semester. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, the university delayed face-to-face classes until Sept. 8. Unfortunately, if students decide to party instead of social distancing, the university may have to shut down completely and move all instruction online for the rest of the semester.

In an email sent out to students, CCU’s Department of Safety said, “If it is determined that you participated in parties/large gatherings, you can expect to be restricted from campus. Those found to be hosting such events can expect to face longer-term consequences.”

The Dean of Students Office has also sent out two mass emails about partying and safety while on campus. As there have been many reports of partying, large group gatherings without masks or social distancing and local news outlets reporting on immature and irresponsible behavior at the university, CCU has taken matters into their own hands.

Coastal alumni, Xavier Colzie, said, “On the outside looking in, I understand the University’s position, but at the end of the day, they can’t control everyone. Students act on their free will, and it is unfortunate.”

As recent videos have surfaced of parties and “boxing matches” being held on campus, CCU must consider the teaching options for the rest of the semester. Students choosing to party and not practice social distancing could force the school to transfer to online classes indefinitely. Students do have the option to stay home and not move onto campus, so responsibility also falls on the students, not just the university.

CCU senior, Courtney Panizari, said, “I think CCU shouldn’t be fully resuming this semester because there is so much uncertainty with the virus. However, students should be avoiding big crowds at all costs.”

In order to continue with CCU’s action plan for COVID-19, students must wear masks, and stay six feet apart from other people. If there is any information on social gatherings and parties on campus that needs to be reported, contact CCU’s Department of Public Safety.

DPS (Emergency): 843-349-9111 via call

DPS (Non-Emergency): 843-349-2177 via call

DPS Tip Line: 843-349-8477 via text

Submitting a Silent Witness Report: https://www.coastal.edu/services/safety_and_security/publicsafety/policedivision/anonymousreporting/

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