Preventing College Parties? Shame And Blame Don’t Work, But Beer Pong Outside Might

As the fall semester gets underway, college students are reuniting with their friends, getting (re)acquainted with campus and doing what college students often do: partying. But in the time of the coronavirus, as more parties surface university administrators have been quick to condemn — and even berate — the behavior of students.

“Be better. Be adults. Think of someone other than yourself,” pleaded a letter to students at Syracuse University following a large gathering on campus.

“We are terribly disappointed,” leaders at the College of Holy Cross wrote to students before remote classes had even started.

“This is the kind of reckless behavior that will put an end to our in-person semester, and it must stop,” wrote the president of St. Olaf College, a small school in Minnesota after an off-campus party.

For many students, this scolding feels like a bait and switch: Didn’t those university administrators, many of whom brought students back to campus knowing full well the challenges, share in some of that poor decision-making?

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