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Opinion: Students have responsibility to follow CDC guidelines, even during Halloween

Student Affairs fails to properly enforce COVID-19 regulations

Prior to Halloween, the Student Affairs Leadership Team sent an email explaining how Rollins students can protect themselves on the holiday. In the email, they list “8 tips to consider as Halloween festivities begin.” The tips included warnings about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as keeping phones charged for the night. 

While both of these tips are important and useful, Student Affairs did not appropriately address proper safety measures for students in regard to COVID-19. The email included a link to the CDC’s guidelines, but everything else in the email made it seem that the leadership team is okay with students attending large events or parties despite a pandemic still happening. 

This guidance also contradicts the college’s regulations regarding Thanksgiving break, in which students who choose to go home must participate in classes virtually for the remainder of the semester. In other words, Student Affairs is okay with students partying and going out to large events for one night on Halloween, but not okay with students going home for Thanksgiving. 

Students’ risk of exposure to and becoming infected by COVID-19 is the same for either scenario. If Student Affairs is going to attempt to create regulations for students leaving campus for a short break, they should do the same for students attending events that go against CDC guidelines. 

There is no doubt that many college students use Halloween as a night to celebrate and party. Last year, I attended multiple parties throughout Halloween weekend. However, this year was different. I didn’t want to risk myself getting exposed to COVID-19 for one night, so I chose not to attend any events. My night was still fun, and I reduced my risk of infection.

When I say parties, I mean large gatherings or events of more than ten people as opposed to hanging out with two or three friends to have a Halloween movie marathon. While I chose not to attend any parties, I know the same cannot be said for my peers. I would hope that if my peers did choose to attend any parties on Halloween, they would be responsible enough to know what steps they should take next in order to protect everyone around them and decrease the risk of exposure.

If you did attend a party or event of any kind, you should isolate yourself and get tested. Luckily for Rollins students, free rapid testing is available on campus at the Wellness Center. Without taking these simple steps, you are increasing the risk of others potentially getting exposed and infected. Attending a party can be fun, but you should at least be responsible about it. If you are going to take the extra steps to plan your night out, you should take the extra steps to plan the following days out to protect anyone who chose to stay safe and follow CDC guidelines this Halloween.

Student Affairs should be more considerate of CDC guidelines to properly instill effective regulations on campus for any kind of event students attend or break students participate in. Student Affairs and the Wellness Center should have provided advice to students who chose to go to a large event on Halloween, including how and where they can get tested in the days following. Students also have a responsibility to adhere to CDC guidelines with the activities they choose to take part in. 

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur or Rollins College.

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