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UNCW Students Discuss Masks, Parties During Pandemic

UNCW Twitter
Although masks are required on campus, some students are not following mask rules.

Coronavirus clusters are popping up on college campuses across the nation. WHQR spoke with UNCW students about the risks of campus life.  

Philip Smith is a senior history major at UNCW.  

I think the proof is in the pudding, you look at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC state, all these other colleges closing going online. You know, I understand trying, but when there's so much evidence, you can't really keep risking it.

And while there's still in-person learning at UNCW, many students say those days might be numbered.  

I feel like it's a matter of time before we close. It's not a matter of if--it's more a matter of when.

Bailey Batts is a senior majoring in Social Work.  She says the problem is not in the classroom.  

I feel safe in there. Everybody's taking the proper precautions.

But outside the classroom? That’s a different story. According to students, masks aren't being worn properly.  

Not all the students are taking it seriously. They're not wearing it all the way up to their face. Like their noses not covered.
Not everyone’s following the rules.
There’s still people refusing to wear their mask.
They're sort of half wearing them when they're waiting or they have them off or half wearing them permanently when they're outside.

Another issue is off-campus parties.  

Philip Smith:

The biggest problem here is this rebellious mentality that we're seeing. Someone on social media got a video of a party, no one was wearing masks. Everyone was really close together and they posted it.

Chancellor Sartarelli reminded students last week that violations of the governor’s mandates are subject to prosecution. The university has also asked off-campus apartments and landlords to share the names of students involved in large banned gatherings, which are limited to 10 indoor participants. Many UNCW in-person classes do exceed that number.  

Katelyn Freund is a nonfiction student at UNCW's MFA Creative Writing program. She holds degrees in Spanish and English. In her time not spent working as WHQR's CoastLine Producer, she enjoys shooting pool, humor writing, and snacking.