DePauwty don’t stop when COVID walks in

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The DePauwty stops for no one. Like cockroaches, DePauw students are resilient when their social lives are on the line. With every regulation and university policy put in place, students accept it as a challenge to overcome, or a recommendation to ignore. That includes Greek and independent students, and athletes and nonathletes alike. And to the detriment of us all, not even a global pandemic can stop DePauwty. 

In an effort to open campus back up, university administrators have put guidelines in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. These decisions were educated by CDC and ISHD experts. To enforce them, DePauw Police and community standards use over 100 surveillance cameras and ID readers on every building to identify students in violation. Moreover, students can submit anonymous reports to the COVID-19 concerns form on the university website.

With all of these measures in place and students actively disregarding them, how is the university adapting its policies to promote safety rather than pushing non-compliant student hangouts underground? 

Sophomore Jack Kneisley, IFC president, says that fraternity guest policies are “contingent with the university policies.” Similarly, all university housing is expected to follow the same guidelines. However, it only takes one night of looking out your window for nostalgia to set in as you watch students make their way across campus between living units. 

Students are no longer walking in herds dressed to party, though. Now the goal isn’t to look sober enough to avoid getting in trouble for drinking; instead, it is to look casual enough to not raise suspicion about entering another living unit. 

Because some students blatantly disregard the rules to hangout with people outside of their living units, others feel they will be exposed whether they go or not, so they go too. 

Of course, not all students are breaking the rules. But the policies put in place are not working. Many students are engaging in behavior contrary to university policies. And rather than the university addressing the ways to make it safer for students to hangout in living units—which students are doing regardless—the university continues to push students into the shadows by focusing on punishment and enforcement.

While we realize the need for safety and DePauw’s efforts to increase opportunities for socializing, something still isn’t working. Maybe the DePauwty doesn’t have to stop? We just need to make it smaller, and safer.