Party scene reemerges while COVID-19 lingers

By Ashleigh Kendrick, Staff Writer

As many begin their third full school year marred by COVID-19, students flock to parties to make up for lost time caused by the pandemic.

With mask mandates and party restrictions nearly gone, Emily Kubik, sophomore in LAS and self-described frequent partygoer, said she noticed an increase in parties.

“I feel like there wasn’t that much open because of the pandemic the year before,” Kubik said. “This year, I feel like so many more people are going out because, you know, there are no mask mandates.”

Corinne Lipkin, sophomore in LAS, said she also noticed the drastic change in the party atmosphere compared to the previous year.

Lipkin said that last year, her friends mainly hung out in the dorms due to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases and strict regulations. This year, however, Lipkin said things are more lenient.

“We’ve felt like it’s been more OK to go out,” Lipkin said.

Riccelo Guidorizzi, senior in Engineering and a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, said his fraternity refrained from throwing parties his sophomore year due to COVID-19. Guidorizzi recalls going back home at the beginning of the pandemic only to return to strict rules surrounding social gatherings.

“We were allowed back on campus but with very strict restrictions and pretty much fully virtual classes,” Guidorizzi said. “We had to do a lot of readjusting and replanning our strategy.”

Guidorizzi also said that due to the restrictions surrounding not only parties, but also small social gatherings, Kappa Sigma did not host any social events that would violate restrictions and instead opted to welcome new members virtually.

Now that COVID-19 party restrictions have been lifted, Guidorizzi has noticed Kappa Sigma and other Greek organizations’ parties are returning to how they were before the pandemic. Guidorizzi credits the rise in partying to students making up for lost time.

“You have this backlog of people that feel like they’ve missed out on that college opportunity, and they’re trying to make up for it,” Guidorizzi said.

Although parties are going back to normal, Hannah Lonergan, sophomore in Media, said she is weary.

Lonergan said while some people may refrain from going out due to the recent increase in cases, she expects the party scene will increase due to some people simply not caring and wanting to have a good time.

“I think people are still going out,” Lonergan said. “I feel like they don’t really care too much about COVID-19, especially the upperclassmen who have already experienced the virtual year, so they’re kind of over it.”

Despite the increase in cases, Kubik said she does not notice many people wearing masks.

Kubik and Lipkin both recently tested positive for COVID-19 and were in quarantine. Kubik explained how she began to feel sick and stayed in until her results came back. Once she knew she was positive, she alerted all her friends and the people she had recently had contact with.

Kubik said she hopes others will follow similar protocols when they fall ill or have been exposed, as they accept the possibility of contracting COVID-19 when they go out.

“As soon as I’m exposed, if I feel sick, I isolate myself and get tested,” Kubik said. “I feel like that’s just what people just seem to do, you know?”

Lipkin said the number of positive cases might increase, but she expects the parties will still continue as more people wish to go out and to have fun.

“It’s almost like breaking free,” Lipkin said.

 

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