As many of us transition from being in quarantine all summer to returning to campus to attend our in-person classes, we are faced with the concern over whether our classmates are taking this pandemic seriously. Unfortunately, many college students have the mentality that they do not need to wear masks and social distance because young people typically get mild or no symptoms. This should not be used as an excuse to act irresponsibly because if we are asymptomatic, we could be unknowingly infecting someone that has a family member that is immunocompromised or elderly.
Since this pandemic has begun, I have been disappointed countless times by college students acting as if nothing were going on, but I was holding out hope that this would not happen at my college, the University of Central Florida. The hope did not last for very long because as I was scrolling through Twitter yesterday, I came across an article written by Knight News that was reporting that Kappa Delta had a maskless recruitment celebration. In the video linked in the article, you can see a crowd of students jumping around and yelling while close together and not wearing masks. The in-person celebration was because the sorority had just completed a week of virtual recruitment, which is ironic since the whole point of the virtual recruitment was for the students to not see each other in person.
I do not understand why sorority recruitment is so important that the students felt the need to put each other, and the other people they come in contact with, at risk by celebrating in person. We have all had to make sacrifices because of the pandemic in order to keep each other safe, and I believe that an in-person sorority recruitment celebration is a low priority and could have been sacrificed. I know that Greek life is a big deal to the students that participate in it, but it is not so important that it warrants putting each other at risk of getting COVID-19. A virtual celebration would have still been a great way to welcome the new recruits while staying safe.
I have seen some people say that the blame should not instantly fall on the students, but rather the university for allowing students to come back to campus in the first place. While I agree that UCF should have moved all of its classes online for fall semester, I still believe that we each have a responsibility to do our part in stopping the spread of coronavirus since we have to be here now. And it definitely does not make me, or anyone else, feel better about being on campus knowing that there are so many students that can't be bothered to follow the university's safety measures.
I know that we are all eager to hang out with our friends normally again, but the longer that we ignore the guidelines put in place to protect each other from coronavirus, the longer it will be until we can all see each other face-to-face again without any worries. Please, let's all be considerate of one another and do our best to make this fall semester go as smoothly as possible.