Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Editorial: Ragers be damned; the rest of us are drowning

September 29, 2020
English senior Johnny Mocny studies on his computer during a break at work on Sept. 2, 2020.
English senior Johnny Mocny studies on his computer during a break at work on Sept. 2, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

With an ongoing outbreak of more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases connected to MSU since Aug. 24 and the original failed vote for a Greek life party mortarium, it’s easy to say that college students are to blame for spreading COVID-19.

And, in a way, you’re right. 

Some students are still holding parties. Some aren’t wearing masks. Some didn’t obey the recommended two-week quarantine.

But for all the students that are ignoring the rules, there are plenty of others who are obeying them.

Students are stressed with online classes. We are worried we’ll get sick. We are anxious about paying bills while almost every business is cutting expenses, including student labor.

We’re tired. 

Students who are following guidelines shouldn’t bear the consequences of the careless and dangerous choices of our peers while also carrying the blame under the very broad, and overused label of “college students.”

Some are immunocompromised. Some haven’t left their home since March.

But starting Oct. 9 we can go to arcades and trampoline parks?

Not all college students fit in the same box. If you are partying, not wearing a mask, gathering with your friends and pretending life is normal, stop. It doesn’t matter if you are 18, 21 or 35, you are part of the problem.

You don’t just turn 22 and stop being a dumbass.

The more often people gather, the more likely it is that those of us doing everything we can to stay healthy might well get infected.

And while you may be able to slide under the radar and allow “college students” to take the blame, you are potentially putting yourself and others at risk for a fun Friday night.

And for those on the outside looking in at MSU, many college students are struggling. 

Remote classes, by nature, are isolating and mentally difficult to adapt to. We’re being challenged in more ways than one during the COVID-19 pandemic including the toll of social isolation alongside financial burdens and the stress of viral infection.

Online formatting is only so freeing when you’re bound by contract to pay rent. Put that together with utter isolation as we spend all day, every day of the week, alone and in front of a screen. Being a Spartan this semester is not the endless party it’s being depicted as. 

Many of us are following the rules. That’s why we don’t show up in headlines and statistics. We’ve been at home, or in our apartments or in our dorms, trying to get a valuable education through a computer screen.

We want this pandemic to be over as much as you do. Some college students are part of the problem, but we won’t take the full blame for making it worse. Let’s work together to slow the spread of the virus, without making anyone a scapegoat.

The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Evan Jones, Managing Editor SaMya Overall, Campus Desk Editor Karly Graham, City Desk Editor Kaishi Chhabra, Culture Desk Editor Devin Anderson-Torrez, Sports Desk Editor Jayna Bardahl, Copy Chief Mark Ostermeyer, Audience Engagement Editor Sophia Kalakailo, Multimedia Manager Tessa Osborne, Photo Editor Alyte Katilius, Staff Rep. Wendy Guzman and Diversity and Inclusion Rep. Di’Amond Moore.

This editorial is part of our Information Overload print edition. View the entire issue here.

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