Videos making the rounds online show what appears to be University of Cincinnati students partying in large crowds, with no masks, less than a week into the new school year.
It’s exactly what health officials across the world have warned people not to do, given the ever-present risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19. UC students who haven’t been partying said Tuesday they were worried about the potentially far-reaching consequences of their classmates’ misbehavior.
“I’m really hoping we won’t get kicked out again if COVID surges,” said student Daniel Posmik. “Even if the majority does their part, it really only takes a small minority to actually ruin the whole situation.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine cautioned Tuesday that keeping schools open for in-person lessons — rather than moving all instruction online, as schools across the country did during the spring — depends on students and their families behaving responsibly outside of class.
Over 200 students at the Ohio State University failed the test before their school year began. According to OSU, 228 students have been suspended for breaking campus guidelines about social gatherings between Aug. 19 and Tuesday.
Posmik said he and other upperclassman believe many of the partiers are newer students. Because Ohio bars now stop serving alcohol at 10, house parties become places for them to meet up and drink without restrictions.
Some students are trying to come up with other ways for Bearcats to meet each other and have fun during the most unusual semester of their lives. Socially distanced activities like hiking and planning trips for after the pandemic can provide the social connection most incoming freshmen expect from their college experience.
UC spokesperson M.B. Reilly said campus police are documenting large-scale student gatherings, and participating students could face disciplinary action as a result.