As several state universities head back to school, social distancing is a must, BUT how do you get students to stop partying? The answer? You can't.

Students have begun moving in on several Michigan campuses, and the question is, how do you keep young people from gathering together in large groups during a pandemic?

I'm not sure you can.

Each major university has started the school year with different strategies.

Eastern has delayed on-campus move in dates, opting for a virtual classroom until September 20.

Michigan State has said its entire first semester will be virtual.

Western has acquired 15-minute rapid response COVID tests, and is instituting touch free move in procedures. 

GVSU will institute random testing, and when students go home for Thanksgiving, they won't come back, as the remainder of the classes from that point on will be online. The idea there is that students could conceivably bring the virus back to college.

But the only school to address student partying has been Central, which has a long tradition of huge gatherings, usually off campus.

After videos leaked out this weekend of huge gatherings off campus, the University has announced they will fine students who are identified at such gatherings. 

Vice President for Student Affairs at CMU, Tony Voisin, released a statement Friday announcing holding students responsible for keeping such gatherings down.

Attending large parties and ignoring safety guidelines increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission for everyone who lives, learns and works on our campus and in our community. We will not allow the actions of a few individuals to jeopardize others, and we will immediately fine, or even suspend, individuals who host or attend large gatherings.

Without fail, at other institutions nationwide, large weekend parties have resulted in an increase in positive COVID-19 diagnoses — and in some, the shutdown of their entire campuses. The actions of a few selfish students have ruined an entire year for thousands of their peers. The same will happen here at CMU if students continue to engage in this type of reckless, irresponsible behavior.

While so far the COVID numbers are low at CMU, the attempt to fine students seems vague at best, hard to enforce at worst.

Full disclosure: while attending CMU, the school was in Playboy magazine's top ten for partying, and I caught two contagious diseases while living in the dormitory, mononucleosis and influenza. But back then, nobody seemed to give a crap about my health.

So I say to you, Chippewa students, at least someone cares and is trying to look out for you. And to the school administration I say, good luck! You're gonna need it if you think the students will stop partying.

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