Mandatory Testing For Juniors and Seniors Following Halloween Pub Crawl
Administrators and students react to the allegation that roughly 100 Furman students attended a "pub crawl" in downtown Greenville on Halloween.
A Nov. 4 Furman Focused email announced that all juniors and seniors are required to get COVID-19 tested on Friday, Nov. 6. This decision comes after the administration learned of a pub crawl event that happened on the evening of Saturday Oct. 31 in downtown Greenville. After hearing reports of over 100 students attending the pub crawl, the administration is still gathering facts.
Several students are currently in quarantine following the event due to “confirmed exposure to COVID-19 by known participants” of the pub crawl. Quarantined students received an email mandating that they “shelter-in-place" until they are tested on Friday Nov. 6. The shelter-in-place order requires those students to remain in their housing assignment and attend classes virtually.
The email also announced that to help with the “low to no contact period,” all dining facilities will be serving carryout meals only for a few days starting with breakfast on Nov. 5.
According to the announcement, the administration’s current priority is “ensuring that we understand the situation,” as not all students involved have been fully forthcoming during the contact tracing process.
In response to the announcement, VP for Academic Affairs and Provost Ken Peterson and VP for Student Life Connie Carson shared that because the event was a community event, “it was widely known by word of mouth after the fact.” Without going into specific detail, Peterson and Carson shared that a small number of people known to have attended the event were quarantined. They added that the pub crawl “stresses the importance for all students to cooperate with contact tracing,” and that students should continue adhering to the Paladin Promise. Peterson and Carson also expressed they are “grateful for the vast majority of our students who take these measures seriously,” adding that their diligence helps keep our community safe.
Several students also responded to the Nov. 4 announcement and expressed their disappointment in their peers’ actions. While sophomore Lana Aga knew that Halloween would be a predictable night for parties, she had more faith in her peers. “If we want to be able to return next semester,” Aga said, “we need to all be careful.” But on the night of Oct. 31, all Aga saw on social media was posts from bars, or even some of her peers at “other college campuses.” According to Aga, the most selfish thing a young adult can do right now is go out, especially since “we are not immune just because we are young.” Aga concluded that in addition to staying in to protect our peers, we should also be thinking about the Furman faculty and staff who risk their lives to “educate us, serve us food, and keep our campus safe and clean.”
Sophomore Victoria Kalau echoed Aga’s concerns about not being able to return in the Spring. While Kalau was not surprised by the Oct. 31 pub crawl, she was shocked to learn just how many Furman students are suspected to have attended. At this point, Kalau noted “the people who went out will deal with their consequences, but I just want the opportunity to come back next semester and their actions do not help make that happen.”
Juniors and seniors who get tested on Nov. 6 will have their results back by Sunday Nov. 8. Until they have received their results, they are advised to continue following the low to no contact rules and minimize their interactions with people outside of their roommates.