WACO, Texas – A video recorded Thursday night showing hundreds of Baylor students gathering on campus without masks or proper social distancing is going viral on social media.
The video, posted by Baylor junior Cassie Nataro, has nearly 26,000 views on Twitter as of Friday night.
“I just wanted them to be held accountable,” Nataro said. “I think that’s a big thing. Calling out issues when you see it happening. And I want them to be held accountable – whether that’s by Baylor, whether that’s by other students, whether that’s by their roommates or friends.”
Baylor freshman Lana Brady found the video to be funny, believing most of the students featured in it are her classmates, just hours after moving into their dorms.
“Sometimes if people are breaking the rules, it’s like, in a sneaky way or in a sly way,” Brady said. “To be reposted socially and just kind of exposed like that, it was humorous for all of us.”
The comments on the video vary – with some calling Nataro a tattletale and still others applauding her for holding students responsible.
Earlier this week, President Linda Livingstone penned a letter saying any student who violates the campus’ new policies could face expulsion. Even today, hundreds of students gathered in the same part of campus to play games without masks or social distancing.
“It does not bother me because it’s natural air. It’s outside. It’s not like indoors, where everything is enclosed,” Baylor freshman Adam Tefft said. “Germs are less likely to spread in the open area.”
Some students are hoping to make the most of their college experience, no matter the consequences.
“I think we need to not stop living our lives, but also still be respectful. And I think for each person that might look a little different,” Brady said. “If they’re willing to put themselves out there, then that’s their choice, honestly.”
Nataro feels the on-campus semester is doomed.
“I don’t think we’ll make it to September, personally. I think we’ll have to go fully online by the end of August just because of incidents like that happening on campus and Baylor not breaking it up at all,” Nataro said. “I feel like everyone expects it to happen off-campus, but I don’t think I expected it to happen on campus as well and Baylor not really to do much about it.”
In a statement given to FOX44, Baylor said:
“The situation that occurred on Fountain Mall Thursday night provides another educational opportunity for our students as we all work together to prevent and manage COVID-19 on our campus. If you are outside on the Baylor campus and not able to socially distance, you must wear a mask according to University policy.
“We have reminded students via social media and text messages, and will add new signage in several gathering areas across campus later today.”
In-person classes at Baylor begin this Monday.