Coffee House and Bingo Night events set COVID-19 precedent

Students+enjoy+bingo+night+while+masked+up

Sofia Pela

Students enjoy bingo night while masked up

Kylie Dickinson, Staff Writer

In the first two weeks of the fall semester, two student life events run by the Westmont Activities Council (WAC)—Bingo Night and the Coffee House—reflected differing perspectives on COVID-19 policies.

During the Coffee House event at Page Hall on Aug. 28, new and returning students had the chance to mingle over coffee and dance to live music performed by our very own students. Yet, among the chaos of dancing, singing and getting to know each other, students were reluctant to follow the COVID-19 precautions. Westmont Activities Council staff had to remind students to keep their masks on and above their noses; warning that no future in-person events would be held otherwise. 

When asked to comment on the event, Jason Tavarez, Westmont’s director of institutional resilience, said, “I was disappointed that some students were having a difficult time remembering to wear their masks; I was very grateful, however, that we had just moved everyone onto campus and were checking vaccination cards and recent COVID tests.” 

Tavarez did not anticipate that Westmont’s COVID-19 policies would change for future events as a result of the students’ decisions to not abide by protocols. When asked if any new rules will be implemented, he commented that “the only change will probably be slightly more frequent testing for students.” 

Daniel Clapp, WAC coordinator when the event took place, declined for comment on the event.

However, the following WAC event, a Bingo Night held on Sept. 4, was a different experience in regards to the COVID-19 safety precautions. WAC again made numerous announcements at this event reminding students to wear their masks and that students would not be permitted to eat or drink while at the event. There were far fewer students violating the mask protocol, and those who did were quickly corrected.

“Bingo, in general, is a lot easier to manage because people are trying to focus on hearing the numbers, staying at their seats, and trying to win. WAC also did a great job of setting expectations. All of those factors made it a little easier to get people to remember the protocols and do their part to gather safely,” said Tavarez. 

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed some rules surrounding student life events, as exhibited by the Coffee House and Bingo Night, Tavarez and the administration assure that these rules are what will keep these events going.

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