COVID-19: East Coast universities

Colleges crumble or craft creative COVID-19 course options on the East Coast

written by: Mariette Waterhouse, staff writer
Photo courtesy of @UMiamiPikes on Facebook
Students at other colleges fret about fraternities and sororities, often citing Greek life groups as being consistently noncompliant with university regulations. Some have become suspended, but many go unpunished.

Until recently, most campuses around the U.S. did not know whether school would be held in person this year or completely online. Most, in fact, had plans put in place in case of the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Like Xavier, students from all colleges interviewed said they were not allowed to have more than two to four people in their room at a time, and that all people there had to be masked. Failure to adhere to these guidelines would result in a mark and fine against them.  

Some students at other schools claim their schools did not notify them of rooming guidelines before being punished for violations. 

“We had a strike hearing a few days ago because we had seven people in our room, when they didn’t even tell us it wasn’t allowed,” University of Maine Orono first-year roommates Marie Wood and Isabella Kallis claimed. “

“They literally came in and asked us for our IDs (and) told us our hearings would be the next day,” the pair added.

Some students found the guidelines for social distancing so difficult they had to defer. This is the case of Jade Jamison, a would-be first-year at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. 

“It’s just so difficult to find a place to fit in when you can’t talk to anyone,” Jamison said. “Going to a place where you don’t know anyone is so much more difficult when you can’t get close to anyone.” 

One article from State University of New York’s student newspaper reacts to the news that their campus will be sending on-campus students home after COVID cases amongst the student body were increasing at an alarming rate. 

The school made the decision to fully shut down after state officials concluded that the spike was due to the unsanctioned parties occurring on campus.

An article from the University of Miami’s student-run newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, wrote of campus fraternities continuing to party despite the rising cases in Florida.  

Many students on UM’s campus are becoming agitated with the university’s supposed lack of a response about the parties. 

“Frats never get in trouble, it’s messed up,” said a sorority member who reported a party. “They just get way too many probation periods.” 

Another student-led newspaper from Penn State University reported on the growing virus numbers on its campus. 

“There are 437 new coronavirus cases at University Park, including 418 from on-demand testing and 19 from random testing, according to data from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24,” the article wrote of surging COVID-19 numbers on Penn State’s campus. 

However, some students also recognize this is not the school’s ideal way of teaching either. 

When asked about how they felt the school was treating and teaching students Wood and Kallis said, “We understand the school is trying their best, and we know that it’s difficult, but it’s also difficult for us, and it’s frustrating when the school seems to not care.”