Wednesday, August 5, 2020

East Lansing bars packed following in-person class cancellation

March 12, 2020
A line of people wait outside Harper's after MSU cancelled classes due to coronavirus March 11, 2020.
A line of people wait outside Harper's after MSU cancelled classes due to coronavirus March 11, 2020. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Following the announcement Wednesday that Michigan State was switching to an online class system through April 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic reaching Michigan, many students celebrated by ignoring recommendations made by the university and Centers for Disease Control and took off for East Lansing bars. 

Lines extended around corners and down roads, full of MSU students waiting to pile onto the dance floors of Harper’s, Rick’s, Dublin Square, FieldHouse and others in the area.

“I think that says that MSU students like to get f---ed up, even if there is a virus out here that can infect most of us,” an MSU business junior said. The student was waiting to get into Dublin Square.

Students used the opportunity to go out before boredom kicks in as many students plan on leaving campus and others will be staying.

“I think there’s going to be a mass boredom, there's not much to do. There’s not much to do, you’re kinda stuck here,” finance junior Kyle Luce said. “I think when people are bored they need something to do."


The bars had themed deals for the night, including Harper’s offering $2 Corona beers as well as half off on food. On Wednesday afternoon, Harper’s General Manager Samantha Bahnweg said that they were busier than on a typical Wednesday. 

"I know that a lot of people are out and about in town right now ... it's been busier during the day than it normally would be on a Wednesday just because students don't have to show up in person in class," Bahnweg said. "As for the rest of the week we'll kind of see."

Some students even went as far as to visit the bar in hazmat suits while carrying around an empty six-pack of Corona beers. Other students wore surgical masks.

“I think it’s funny. We saw two girls dressed in quarantine suits," interior design junior Madison Domas said. "I think it’s funny to make a joke out of it because everyone is being so serious, but it’s okay to laugh about it.”

Two girls in hazmat suits were spotted around the bars, getting a lot of attention from other students in the area. People were seen taking photos and videos of them out of cars and while walking by.

Other students used this night as their last opportunity to spend time with friends before people start heading out of the East Lansing area.

The students are prepping to make the transition to all online classes after MSU’s announcement Wednesday that all classes would stop meeting in person until April 20. 

“I think it’s also difficult for the professors because they have no idea what to do. Like our professor was telling us that she doesn’t know what to do,” interior design junior Julia Kassel said. 

Additionally, students and professors are currently coping with transitioning their plans for the semester to the online platform. Exams planned are being rescheduled at the professors’ discretion. 

“So first of all, I had two exams on Friday, and they both got rescheduled to online classes. So for once, I was stressing all spring break over my two exams and now I figured out that they’re going to be online,” the business junior said. “They haven’t even postponed them yet. So I’m waiting for that, and I’m a little nervous. I don't know how the online classes are going to work out, but I’m excited too.” 

MSU moved the classes online to limit face-to-face interaction between students. They also have advised students to maintain social distancing and avoid congregating in large groups.

"We don't care, we'd rather drink," supply chain management junior Stefan Gligor said. "More party time."

Editor's note: The State News' reporter Dina Kaur contributed to the reporting of this story. This article was updated March 13.

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