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'This is very disappointing, frightening and 100% predictable': OSU community reacts to large crowds at Stillwater bars

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Washington Street "The Strip" on Feb. 27, 2020 in Stillwater.

Despite classes at Oklahoma State University starting Monday and COVID-19 cases rising, the bars on Stillwater's Washington Street have been packed.

These crowds are causing concern among some OSU students, who will have to attend class with some of these individuals on Monday.

"No way this goes well," said OSU student Preston Moore. "There's just no way."

"Quit being stupid and stop congregating in such large crowds during a pandemic," OSU student Layne Turner said in a tweet. "If you are one of these people, you are part of the problem. Life will not return to normal so long as people like this keep contributing to the status quo."

In addition to students, some faculty members are also pessimistic about the future effects of these crowds.

"This is very disappointing, frightening and 100% predictable," said OSU professor Dr. Thad Leffingwell.

While some students and faculty members are fearful for the semester to start, there's also a large semblance of students who are confident in going to the bars and resuming normal life. 

"Everyone needs to get over this its communism by tellin us what to do and not to do LIVE YOUR LIFE everyone will be immune to it by the end of the year whether you have it or the antibody STILL LESS DEATHS THEN THE COMMON FLU," OSU student Ethan Jones said in a tweet.

According to a New York Times story, the coronavirus is both more deadly and more contagious than the flu so far.

Another relevant issue is how these crowds could relate the status of college football. Some members of the OSU football team, who also have to go to class with some of these students next week, shared their thoughts on this.

"Yup.. I’ve decided.. I’m not going to class Monday," said OSU safety Tre Sterling.

"'We want a season,' yeah ight....." said OSU defensive lineman Collin Clay.

OSU President Burns Hargis responded to the videos on Monday afternoon.

"Oklahoma State University is disappointed in the behaviors exhibited by some of our students off campus over the weekend," Hargis said in a statement sent to students. "Attending large dance parties where neither mask wearing nor social distancing occurred showed a clear disregard for the protocols set forth by both the university and the city of Stillwater. OSU and city officials have communicated behavior expectations to limit the spread of COVID19, and a successful, in-person instructional experience requires everyone to take personal responsibility.

"We ask that our students follow university and city protocols, avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing and wear masks, and appreciate the vast majority of those who are taking our guidelines seriously as evidenced by a .7% positive rate on move-in day. The in-person campus experience we all love here at OSU depends on it this semester."

Stillwater mayor Will Joyce said city officials are meeting about large crowds soon.

"The Stillwater City Council meets tomorrow evening. Pandemic response, including a potential ordinance to allow more opportunity for outdoor service by bars, is on the agenda," Joyce said in a tweet. "I am also evaluating other possible actions through emergency declaration, if necessary."

News.ed@ocolly.com