‘Not worth it right now’: FSU students react to large parties off campus

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As universities across the country run into issues of students partying, Florida State University is facing one of its own.

Students on campus Wednesday were frustrated after hearing from University President John Thrasher about large parties; many say the large gatherings are not worth it right now.

Freshmen students face a unique set of challenges on campus.

“There’s not as many people on campus, and the dorms feel empty. And classes have been online, so it’s hard to meet people,” said Kevin Fay, who is originally from Pennsylvania.

Fay and his friend, Andrew Hedderman, say they were not aware of parties happening off-campus before Thrasher’s e-mail.

"For the most part, I think people on campus are following the guidelines," said Hedderman.

A large party on Sunday night at the former Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house was broken up by FSU Police, resulting in eleven arrests, including the seven occupants of the house.

“They shouldn’t be doing that, but they are, and I can’t do anything about it, so I just try not to participate,” said Nicole Rodriguez, a sophomore at the university.

Rodriguez says all of her classes are online, and she lives in an off-campus apartment; she intends to stay in Tallahassee for the duration of the semester, regardless of what the pandemic brings.

"It just sucks for the people who are following the rules," she said.

A freshman, Emma Cagwin, was also upset when she learned about the parties.

"I was more just kind of annoyed that other students would put themselves before everyone else," said Cagwin.

She’s from Atlanta and has seen her high school friends’ universities shut down, including Notre Dame and UNC-Chapel Hill.

"I feel like it's kind of putting everything that we've worked for, it's kind of making it useless, what's the point of us doing this if other people aren't," said sophomore Brenna Miller.

Miller is serious about following the guidelines because she wants to be able to participate in extracurricular activities.

“I’m also in the Marching Chiefs, and one of the biggest emphasis that they’ve been giving us to have the go-ahead, is that we should be avoiding stuff like that!”

Freshman Evan Fernandez hopes President Thrasher's letter reminds students of their personal responsibility and will keep FSU from having to shut down.

“Everybody knows it’s definitely a possibility now with other schools doing it too, so we’ve just got to stop hanging out in such big groups and hopefully that won’t be the case here,” said Fernandez.

You can read President Thrasher’s letter here.

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