PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh is continuing to crack down on parties as students return to campus.
In the last few weeks, the university says it started receiving reports of students gathering at large parties.
Since then, the university has temporarily suspended multiple Greek organizations and restricted eight students from campus for not following health and safety measures.
However, looking out over a portion of campus Sunday, it seems many students are taking those measures seriously.
Many were practicing social distancing and sitting in small groups at Schenley Plaza.
Others were playing games like Spikeball and volleyball.
For freshmen like Rohan Krishnan, games like that have been an important outlet for meeting new people.
“Coming up with ideas like this, which volleyball was one of the recommended sports that Pitt gave us,” he said.
The university recently published a list offering suggestions for social distant activities instead of partying.
“Things like this are fun and they’re fine,” said Pitt senior Alexis Henderson, who enjoyed a picnic with friends Sunday.
The list of activities also included a reminder for students to avoid parties.
“Our expert opinion: Parties aren’t worth the risk. Attending social gatherings increases your number of close contacts, and every new close contact increases the risk of the virus spreading throughout the community,” Pitt’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office said.
Freshman Christoper Exposito said there’s only so much a university can do to stop parties.
“They’re going to keep partying,” he said. “They’re going to get together. They’re going to do what college students do.”
However, some students say they do see a difference in the amount and size of parties from previous years.
“There’s definitely still parties,” said senior Kaitlyn Kurz. “I don’t think there should be, but I think there’s noticeably less.”
The university has provided strict guidance to on-campus students, and has asked students living off-campus to practice social distancing in small groups.
Some students feel the majority of the parties are off-campus.
“I hope people would be smarter, and we’re following the rules so we expect everyone else will do the same thing,” said Pitt senior Ankita Sibal.
According to a Tweet from Pitt Student Affairs, Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner was in South Oakland over the weekend speaking with students, handing out Pitt gear and doing “social safety checks.”
Did you happen to see Dean Bonner in South Oakland over the weekend? He and some friends were out and about talking to students, doing social safety checks, and handing out masks and swag! Keep your eyes out 👀 for future weekend visits! pic.twitter.com/iUDZwnk0l3
— Pitt Student Affairs (@PittStudents) August 30, 2020