With the COVID-19 coronavirus still on the rise, Shippensburg University students must make the necessary adjustments if they wish to remain on campus. This means social distancing and wearing masks and limiting interactions with others.
Students must limit the number of people that congregate to curb the spread; however, some cannot resist the urge to throw a house party. Many students subscribe to the “We’re gonna get shut down anyway” mentality. Why should we social distance and stay at home while our friends are out partying? Students at colleges across the nation are under scrutiny for their “extracurricular” activities.
According to a letter sent out by Peter Gitau, the vice president for enrollment, student affairs and student success, pictures and videos have surfaced online of SU students attending said parties without wearing masks or practicing social distancing
“Effective immediately, the university will embark on active monitoring of off-campus gatherings and will continue enforcement of these guidelines on campus. Any student who refuses to follow the guidelines, or who is found to have violated university, municipal, state or federal public health regulations will be immediately subjected to serious interim and/or permanent sanctions following the due process of our code of conduct,” Gitau wrote in the email.
Officials have started to use off-campus cameras to monitor gatherings. Any student who is caught violating the university’s health guidelines could receive a serious penalty.
The cameras could enhance the overall security of the campus and the surrounding community. A camera could have been useful during last year’s homicide in an alley near Richard Avenue. If the cameras were installed for these types of safety measures, students may feel differently.
While the cameras feel invasive, officials do have a point. Why are students unsafely gathering in the middle of a global pandemic? Some members of the student body are risking everything for a night of partying. If students would have followed initial instructions, maybe officials would not have gone this far.
Though the cameras may help them practice accountability, students can easily get mistaken for another person and be subjected to serious penalty. It would be easier to know what students attended parties by looking at social media than to check the cameras and risk wrongfully accusing someone.
Those who gather without safety precautions must look at their priorities and be compassionate toward their classmates.