Fall Semester with No Parties?

Students are starting to create a ‘new normal,’ missing one infamous aspect of campus life — the parties.

Jackson Fischer, Reporter

Hamline students are facing a college experience like no other, including missing out on a lot of social experiences like off-campus parties. Hamline has stated that students should behave in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines on gatherings. They state that people should, “pursue virtual group events, gatherings or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least six feet between people if events are held. Limit group size to the extent possible.”

Despite the clear expectations, unconfirmed rumors of off-campus parties, thrown by Hamline students, have been circling campus and social media sites. As of Sept. 27, the Associate Dean of Students Javier Gutierrez has confirmed that there are no pending or current investigations into any off-campus gatherings. Furthermore, requests by the Oracle to obtain police reports in the neighborhood on the nights of rumored events have gone unanswered. 

Gutierrez adds that for off-campus students having gatherings, even if they are socially distant and outdoors, that isn’t necessarily the perception that neighbors and community members have. Neighbors might see a group of young people outside and automatically assume or label it as a party.

Gutierrez urges off-campus students to talk to their neighbors and inform them when they are having people over as a way to help manage misunderstandings.

Even with the expectations of students this year, Hamline has not actually added any new policies regarding COVID-19 gatherings. 

“Our current policies already encompass what some schools have added with COVID and their policies,” said Gutierrez. “Conduct which threatens the health and wellbeing of another person is already one of ours, and if you are either attending or hosting a party that falls under it, if you have a gathering that’s more than 25 [people] off-campus without physical distancing, without a mask, that is failure to comply with state and local laws and ordinances.” 

If students have knowledge of and are concerned about upcoming on or off-campus parties, they can report what they know to the Dean of Students Office by using the form on the Dean of Students site under the Student Handbook. Students can also go to tinyurl.com/HamlineReports.