Hold Partygoers Accountable

Sarah Manderbach '22, Opinion Editor

It’s been a few weeks now since I posted an opinion piece titled “Stop the Parties.” In the piece, I expressed my frustrations with Dickinson students who hosted and participated in parties on campus in the middle of a pandemic. Some part of me hoped that some people would take it to heart and understand that their actions have heavy consequences.

However, even though I am not on campus, I am still hearing of bigger and even worse parties occurring on campus. From what I have heard from accounts of friends who live on campus, there were students storming lawns, first-years having parties, and so much more.

It baffles me beyond all belief that this is still going down. But what baffles me even more is the lack of a response from Dickinson College about this issue. 

On November 13 of 2020, the office of Residence Life and Housing sent out an email regarding plans for the spring semester and what housing will entail. At the very end of the email was a Campus Community Compact, which “students returning to Dickinson College during the spring 2021 semester will be required to sign.” Some of the guidelines outlined within the compact include basics, such as where masks have to be worn and the topic of social distancing, COVID tracking, and limited travel outside of the Carlisle area. 

At the very bottom of the compact, right before the signature, is the following statement: “I understand that if I am found to have violated any of these expectations, I may be subject to immediate interim removal from campus – at the sole discretion of the College.”

When I first read this, I thought Dickinson was going to be taking this whole thing seriously. The college as well as the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be on the active search for any violations of the COVID regulations they put in place. That put me at ease and gave me big hopes to go back to campus and see all of my friends again. But from what I’m hearing from my friends, nothing has been done.

I know Dickinson might not be able to reveal any of that kind of information, and I understand all of that. However, it seems that more and more parties are occurring but nothing is being done to stop it. I’ve heard of DPS coming in to break up parties or other violations of the compact, but where is the punishment? If Dickinson was taking this as seriously as I hoped they were, they would be sending home sports teams for parties, not having them quarantine and hoping for the best. The coronavirus is not a joke. I don’t know how many times it needs to be said. Dickinson needs to change their act for the second half of the semester if they want to ensure the true safety of their students against those who clearly do not care about the health of their peers.