No second chances

Large student gatherings can cost everyone their in-person college experience

Matthew Jaroncyk, Staff Writer

There is an adage that you have probably heard various ways: when you mess up, there is a second chance to make things right.

Anthony’s Ocean View hosted a party with roughly 500 people, including Quinnipiac students, breaking
COVID-19 guidelines. (Morgan Tencza/Chronicle )

For colleges during these unprecedented times, there are no second chances. Instead, school administrators will notify students to pack up and leave in a window of time, ultimately shifting to remote learning.

After hearing the report from WTNH that Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven hosted a party with approximately 500 Quinnipiac University and Southern Connecticut State University students on Friday night, I am writing this not to only express how I feel, but on behalf of other students who are just as upset as I am about the selfish actions of others that could potentially alter our return to campus next semester.

I am baffled at how students continue to disregard university policies when it comes to protecting the “Bobcat Bubble.” I understand that it was “Halloweekend” and students want to celebrate with their friends, but you have to realize that when you made the decision to live on campus, you essentially agreed that you would help protect the Quinnipiac community from COVID-19. With this, you also take full responsibility for any rules that have been violated, whether you are patient zero or a bystander.

Even before this, students received numerous emails from both the Office of Residential Life and COVID-19 senior medical advisor Dr. David Hill that pointed to large gatherings for causing upticks in positive cases.

You would think that students who read these emails would learn to take these warnings seriously, but you are sadly mistaken.

From the video posted on social media by the Student Government Association advising fellow students to not go out to the emails sent out by Hill and Residential Life, you would assume the point of not having large gatherings would be recognized.

But then this happens, making people ask the simple, yet complicated three-letter word: why? Why have people not learned from past mistakes? It seems like an obvious answer, yet it continually happens.

I am fully aware that Quinnipiac was going to continue with the hybrid model for the spring semester, but everything is up in the air at this point. Things change, and we need to be able to show as a community that no matter what happens, we are able to adapt and thrive in whatever is thrown our way.

Though this seems like unfortunate news, Quinnipiac has been one of the better schools containing the spread of positive COVID-19 cases. But do not let this fool you — the university is dealing with an influx of cases.

Before Oct. 23, Quinnipiac had 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This seemed manageable and did not cause much concern. Since then, this number has jumped to 139, an increase of 110 cases, with 108 of these cases currently in isolation.

This also comes at a time when an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases have occured in Connecticut. This seems to fit the trend across the United States, as a majority of the states are seeing similar results. Recently, an article from CNN reported that at least 31 states reported records for COVID-19 cases for one day, with 15 of these states reporting the most amount of COVID-19 deaths in one day.

With the parties and large gatherings that occurred this weekend off campus, it would be expected that the number of confirmed cases would exponentially rise. Quinnipiac officials may be questioning whether their decision to have an in-person spring semester was decided too early.

We can play the blame game and point fingers, but the reality of the situation is that some of us students have let our guards down and we all are now — and will continue to be — suffering the consequences, as this weekend may have raised some concerns for the spring semester.

In the case that next semester does all of a sudden shift to remote learning, I want to inform the students who used the weekend to party with their friends that you are the reason why positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise and why our spring semester is in jeopardy. Rather than thinking about the consequences of your actions, all you cared about was hanging out with your friends and the liquid inside your cup.

So, for those who went out and partied last weekend, ask yourself this: was it worth it? Was it worth getting sent home for the remainder for the semester? Worth not giving your best friends the proper goodbyes they deserve?

Reading what President Judy Olian and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett had to say on this event, I was left unsatisfied. I wanted more. I am glad that they are dealing with this manner in an efficient way but sending these kids home for the rest of the semester only gives them more of an opportunity to come back in the spring to repeat the same acts of selfishness again and again, potentially putting us in a worse situation than we were before.

Moral of the story: more needs to be done to stop students from partying.

I am pleading to anyone who reads this, if there is one thing you can take away from this article it is to make the right decision; you can party, but limit yourself to small groups of no more than six people. If you want to have a large party, then it should be done over Zoom. If you want to have the chance to set foot on campus in the spring, we need to take the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus at Quinnipiac. If this is not done, then kiss your chance for coming back to campus goodbye.

Just remember — with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.