For many college students heading back to school means a big party season is ahead, no matter your academic year. It’s a time to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and just let loose before hitting the books. This year, not so much. Back to school celebrations have been crashed by COVID-19 before the fall semester has even started. Student behavior and partying is already a hot topic. Centers for Disease Control, many U.S. colleges and their communities are broadcasting strong warnings against large get-togethers to keep social distancing ordinances in place and the Coronavirus pandemic tamed. The prime concern is that massive social events on the close confines of college campuses could fuel a virus outbreak. USA Today adds to this public-health concern saying, “American Colleges and Universities offer petri-dish conditions for the Coronavirus.” Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here.Some colleges are going as far as creating pandemic policies to ensure the safety of their students and the campus community at large. These policies vary from campus to campus across the nation. A few universities scold the possibility of off-campus parties hosted at private residences or student apartments. Some university leaders enforcing the severity of such parties will end up with students being expelled from college. For example, ABC News reports that Tulane’s Dean of Students, Erica Woodley, stressed the importance of zero partying in a bolded, all-caps student letter that said, “DO NOT HOST PARTIES OR GATHERINGS WITH MORE THAN 15 PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE HOST. IF YOU DO, YOU WILL FACE SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION FROM THE UNIVERSITY.” One Yahoo! article focuses on a freshman college student’s letter from his university that details serious student-life changes such as no parties, zero Greek life and no dorm-room visitors besides the assigned roommate. These changes and expectations are often detailed in a student pledge. ABC News references such student-university vows are happening at U.S. universities such as: • Cornell University – Students must agree not to organize, host or attend events.• Ohio State University – Students are asked to conduct daily health checks. • Yale – Students must remain in Connecticut for the fall semester and not invite any non-Yale person to campus. • Syracuse University – Asks students to get a flu shot and to avoid social gatherings with more than 25 people. Not complying could mean disciplinary action. The last thing universities want to battle is a massive shutdown because of a Coronavirus outbreak. Students also want to stay healthy and away from a quarantine situation. Leaders nationwide are hopeful the college party culture understands the severity of undermining the no-party fall semester that lies ahead, at least until a Coronavirus vaccine is released.
Party Canceled: Top 5 Party Schools of 2020Each year the Princeton Review and Niche publishes lists highlighting the leading party colleges in America. These lists are based on student surveys, feedback on off-campus nightlife and stats focused on social clubs like Greek fraternities and sororities. Nearly half of the schools listed are in what’s considered Coronavirus epicenters. According to The New York Times, the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia are Coronavirus hot spots, with states like Illinois, Delaware and West Virginia following closely behind. These top-five party schools of 2020 have had their party crashed by COVID-19.
Princeton Review’s top-five party schools of 2020 are:
- Syracuse University – Syracuse, New York
- The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- University of Delaware – Newark, Delaware
- West Virginia University – Morgantown, West Virginia
- Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana
Niche’s top-five party schools of 2020 are:
- Tulane University
- Howard University – Washington, District of Columbia
- University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin
- University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois
**Students attending colleges that made it on the top party schools of 2020 lists should take all social distancing policies and pleas seriously to avoid a sudden college shutdown similar to the 2020 spring semester.**
Fight for Your Right to PartyCollege students have the right pushback on the crummy party crasher, COVID. Students can overcome the lack of social happenings by inventing new ways to gather. Here are three odd, but socially safe college party ideas to consider:
- Host a Zoom Game Party. We all just want to have fun and see the laughing faces of our friends. Why not play a few virtual games?! This YouTuber has 10 simple Zoom game ideas you can play together. One idea is using the Zoom White board.
- Party from Your Window. Remember the viral video of an Italian community signing together from their windows? Open those dorm-room windows and belt out an inspiring tune of reassurance; let the other college students of the USA know there’s a solution to the no-party gloom by creating your own inspiring viral video. Work with your dorm’s resident adviser (RA) or community adviser (CA) to organize a karaoke-inspired sing-a-long. Billie Eilish, Queen or Taylor Swift, be sure to pick songs that are popular or were Billboard hits at one time. Check out this list of the Top 100 Karaoke Songs of All Time for inspiration.
- Cruise to a Drive-In Movie. Try gathering a group of friends to head to a local drive-in movie theater—in separate cars of course. You can still see your friends and enjoy something together, all while wearing masks and staying socially distant. Many Americans are feeling nostalgic as Saturday nights at the movie theater hasn’t been a thing in 2020. If you don’t have a local outdoor movie theatre, Walmart is hosting a Drive-In Movie Tour across the U.S., and tickets are free!