I have seen a few of my friends at Temple partying and sharing drinks upon arriving on campus, leading me to believe it is only a matter of time before Temple becomes the center of an outbreak.
Sorority and fraternity parties have resulted in 251 cases of COVID-19 in states like Mississippi, Washington, North Carolina and California, the New York Times reported.
Julia Wynn, a junior finance major, said many of the students in her Temple transfer Snapchat group chat have talked about partying.
“I would feel much better if these people self-quarantined after partying,” Wynn said.
In a perfect world, students would prioritize the health of other students. But bringing students back to campus after months of lockdown and social isolation is a recipe for disaster that may result in shutting down campus again.
Temple’s unstable reopening plan is contingent upon students not going to house parties or fraternity parties. Unfortunately, the chances all students will follow public health precautions are slim, and if an outbreak is to occur at Temple, the students may be the scapegoats, not the administration who made a potentially deadly miscalculation by assuming it would be safe to allow students back on campus.
“At the end of the day we’re still dealing with ignorant 18 to 22 year olds,” said Joe Orsatti, a senior business management major who currently lives at the Edge. “I think the best way to handle that would be to offer certain extra curricular activities, because students will have a lot of time on their hands with online classes.”
Partying is a staple of Greek life, and for many, it is a right of passage. Although Zoom and FaceTime are not the same, this is the reality we live in right now to keep everyone safe.
“We will be holding our chapter meetings every week online because we want that social interaction, but we don’t want to be the cause of an outbreak,” said Natalie Chadwell, a senior advertising major and chapter president of Tri Delta Epsilon Phi.
On July 30, Mark Denys, senior director of Student and Employee Health Services, sent an email to students on behavior for safe precautions in Temple’s reopening.
“It is critical to avoid high-risk situations, such as parties and other large gatherings where people are not wearing facial coverings or maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more,” Denys wrote.
Despite this caveat, Instagram pages like @templepartyowl are still posting house party addresses on their story almost every day.
“The university needs to start doing something about the people that live off campus, because they’re going to be putting people in danger,” said Sarah Zapiec, a junior history major. “If you go to a party with 50 people, come back the next day to class or where you live, you’re a danger to yourself and the community around you.”
It is the responsibility of students to practice safe protocols in the midst of this pandemic, but Temple should not have invited students back on campus.
Parties will also impact our North Philadelphia neighbors if cases spread in the community.
Therefore, Tri Delta will not be in attendance at any house or fraternity parties because of the negative ramifications they’d have on the surrounding communities, Chadwell said.
“I feel like Greek life is immediately associated with partying, and that just isn’t the case,” Chadwell said. “Tri Delta is a sisterhood, and that is what we have figured out through this pandemic.”
Temple tweeted on Friday students should contact Temple Police if they see a large gathering near campus.
Being deemed a tattletale is something that doesn’t bother me anymore. I understand we’ve lost months of social time, but if we keep going down this road, people will lose their lives. It may be hard to accept this reality, but our social lives are not more important than our health.