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How ya gonna keep 'em down in the dorm? Outbreaks at North Carolina university raise questions

The News&Observer reports how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill went back to online learning after just a week due to Covid-19 outbreaks on campus. Yeah, not Boston at all, but given all the precautions local colleges are taking, let's consider this quote from the college provost about how none of the cases seem to be linked to academic buildings:

What we have found is that most of the transmissions have been within the social sphere of campus life, and that has been really challenging for us to manage and to hold people to the level of accountability that we probably needed to.

In other words, students returned and went to parties.

Boston College says it will be hiring BPD details to break up off-campus weekend parties, but two city councilors representing the student-dense neighborhoods of Allston/Brighton, Fenway and Mission Hill have pleaded with local schools to not let students return to campus this fall because, well, you know how students are.

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College Administrators and Faculty on Summer Break in Nantucket, MV, and Wellfleet - No Problem.

Economics major Kyle going to an apartment on Kilsyth Street and saying hi to friends? Problem.

Like Nixon, Deng Xiaoping, and DeGaulle, when poo gets out of hand, blame them pesky 20 somethings.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/colleges-are-getting-r...

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...I love your references. People who moan about Trump never experienced Tricky Dick!

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From other Boomers I have been told "I hated Nixon, I hated Regan. Nothing compares to the guy in office now."

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Economics major Kyle going to an apartment on Kilsyth Street and saying hi to friends? Problem.

I don't think anyone is saying that's the problem. I know what I'd be doing now if I were in college. I'd be shit-faced riding around in a grocery cart in Allston... but wearing a mask this time.

I don't think it's fair to blame all college students, but it is a demographic that tends to be less cautious about their actions. I certainly was. I can sit in my backyard and have a few beers with friends now and never get closer than 10 ft from anyone, but if I were living in dorms, I wouldn't abstain from alcohol just because I didn't have that kind of space.

Frankly, any admin that thought students would just sit around quietly for the first time in the history of humanity is kind of an idiot.

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sit around quietly for the first time in the history of humanity

That's my question -- I don't think that that view of college is at all historically or culturally universal.

(Edited... it's not about what I did, but the question is whether the quote that you can't expect college students to "sit around quietly for the first time in the history of humanity" is accurate.?)

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That may be what you did and that still what some people do, but it's unreasonable to assume that suddenly everyone else will do the same thing.

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College kids getting drunk, going wild, and engaging in destructive behavior is nothing new. For example, at least one of John Adams' kids was involved in the 1787 Thanksgiving day riot at Harvard. After their holiday dinner, the students had some beverages, then broke out the windows of the dining hall and threw the furniture out in the yard. Makes the Animal House food fight look fairly tame.

More on the Thanksgiving riot in this podcast (segment begins at 3:35).

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You beat me to posting the exact same article.

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This is so strange, usually college students can be trusted to be safe and responsible.

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My theory is that living in a college community or a student neighborhood should mean:

- lots of cultural events, with many open to the wider community;
- lots of willing volunteers for community activities, tutoring programs, etc.
- lots of young adults involved in political and social causes;
- etc.

And shouldn't be "avoid that neighborhood if you can because there are lots of students" or "oh well frats will be frats" or "that's just college students being college students." Or now, a serious fear of super-spreader off-campus parties that would cause a whole college to have to shut down, with all the related disruption to other students, staff and the wider community.

My impression is that there are other countries and other cultures that see college as a time and place for intellectual and personal growth? The current model isn't inevitable.

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Honestly, most college students in Boston are fine. Most students are polite and friendly, if not somewhat oblivious at times.

The colleges do host a ton of cultural programming which is open to the public. And college students are very active in political and social causes. Most "progressive" trends start on college campuses and are led by students.

There are no Animal House type frats in Boston. The closest thing is the MIT frats on Bay State Road and even these are pretty tame at this point.

As for Masks, the college kids are more likely to wear them vs the general public. It's the people who think the virus is a hoax that are spreading the germs.

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I'm happy to agree that most college students are fine, and that most have a positive impact on the community. But read (a.) some of the comments on this article; (b.) the minutes of neighborhood meetings in neighborhoods with large student populations; or (c.) the log of any campus police department; to see if there might be a sub-culture of being not-so-good-neighbors.

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There are BU and Northeastern frats, or at least frat-esque enough to be a big concern

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Like Cambridge?

[duck and run]

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College culture varies somewhat around the world but young-adult partying is pretty constant over space and time.

On the other side of the pond (and to our north in Quebec) one of the big differences is the 18 drinking age, which makes bars legal for most freshmen. European colleges and universities are also more often located in cities, with students living off-campus. There are certainly college bars and dance clubs that anybody much over 23 would feel creepy at, but the boundary between city life and campus life isn't as sharply-drawn as it often is here. There's fewer large dorms and no Greek houses to host big parties but plenty of legal venues to tie one on.

Then again in the UK, binge drinking is a national sport not only for college students, but middle-aged professionals and everybody else. If anything, I think there's a greater acceptance of getting regularly, falling down, blind-in-Texas shattered there than here. Culture's a funny thing.

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There have also been outbreaks in University of North Carolina Hospitals with employees eating in close proximity during breaks. (... which is directly attached to the medical school, which is within spitting distance of the football facility....) Yet the most important thing is to make sure the football team is okay so they can kick off in a few weeks....

Over/under for shutting down the campus is set at Labor day. I'm taking the under.
Peace/out
(and a former UNC employee)

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