College Students May Head To Off-Campus Locations To Party
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com College Editor
Published Aug. 24
Imagine being in college and have no bars to go to off campus.
That’s the situation facing University of Alabama students after the mayor of Tuscaloosa shut the city’s bars for two weeks, starting on Aug. 24. He – and many others – were alarmed at photos showing people standing in line for popular spots such as Gallette’s and Innisfree without masks when students returned to campus.
Despite the owner of Gallate’s pointing out that inside bar goes were wearing masks and that capacity was limited to 25% based on local regulations and people on the scene pointing out that many adults were not wearing masks in public, the mayor pointed is finger directly at the bars and the students.
This was a response to a request from University of Alabama administators.
Mayor Walt Maddox announced the executive order, made at the request of the University, during a press conference on Monday.
“The rise in COVID cases that we’ve seen in recent days is unacceptable,” UA President Stuart Bell said. “And if unchecked, threatens our ability to complete the semester on campus.”
Bell did not specify the rise in cases, but several media reports have stated that 1% of Alabama students have tested positive for coronavirus. That was from 24,000 students tested and 1,000 more daily tests are planned. Alabama’s 2019 enrollment is listed at 39,39o.
Of course, as any college student or savvy alumni knows, if you close the bars then students will just move the party elsewhere, most likely to off-campus houses are apartments rented by students. While frat parties and off-campus gatherings are also banned for two weeks, it will be nearly impossible to enforce gatherings away from campus.
It would seem to be far easier to allow the bars to stay open where enforcement of social distancing and wearing of masks can be enforced by the very establishments the university and mayor are closing: the bars themselves.