AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Video of an off-campus tailgate party at UMass-Amherst over the weekend is circulating on social media and has many people talking.
This happened after the university changed its on-campus tailgate plans due to an uptick in COVID cases.
We spoke with one student who went to the off-campus party on Saturday ahead of the football game. he told us he went there because the university canceled the on-campus tailgate. now, many are concerned COVID cases could spread.
Videos posted on social media show crowds at a UMass Amherst off-campus townhouse party on Saturday, celebrating the first home football game of the season. Hundreds of students are seen standing shoulder to shoulder, a scene the university wanted to avoid by calling off the traditional on-campus tailgate since COVID cases are on the rise. Western Mass News spoke with one student who was there.
"It was pretty wild, a lot of people there. It was crazy. I don't know what else to say...I feel good my friends feel good," said Joshua Solares, a UMass junior.
Solares, told us the off-campus party should have been expected.
"I'm pretty sure they knew that would happen regardless. A large gathering was going to happen," said Solares.
Another UMass junior who did not go to the tailgate thinks large gatherings like the one on Saturday could make things worse.
"I think it's going to end up spreading more COVID concerns. Which I'm concerned about because I don't want to go back online. I'd like to stay in person and keep things as safe as possible," said junior Meghan Kane.
She said on-campus events tend to be more organized.
"I think that they would of. I've been to the tailgates my freshman year. There's more structure there. It would of been better to control it," said Kane.
We reached out to UMass for a response and in a statement, they tell us in part:
"We continue to advise students, whether on or off-campus, that while the safest place to gather is outdoors, even there, masks should be worn when social distancing is not possible."
New COVID case numbers at UMass Amherst are expected to come out Thursday.