College students adjusting to off-campus life's new normal

0828 The Steer
Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 23:16:59-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With classes starting on Monday, a majority of UB students have already moved back into their apartments for their new school year. The class of 2021, however, is quickly learning that nights out are going to look different.

"My roommates and are all 21, and we were ready to go to the bars, and now I'm ordering a dollar chips and salsa," UB senior Julia Gotkin said. "At the same time, this is the situation and if it's what we can get, then I'm fine to do that."

Gotkin and her friends went out for drinks at The Steer near UB's South Campus Thursday evening. All of her classes this fall are online, but she still came back to Western New York for her senior year.

"It's not a fair ask of Cuomo to not hang out. If you're going to have us back on campus and have a hybrid schedule, you can't expect us to stay home," Gotkin said.

If college students do choose to go out, their options will become much more limited earlier in the night. COVID-19 regulations on alcohol and capacity, and the staffing that comes along with it, forces hangouts like The Steer to change things up.

"Now we're open until just midnight," owner Tucker Curtin said. "If food's not ordered by that point, we close down shortly thereafter."

Curtin's working to keep his doors open and to follow guidelines for both students and other regulars alike. But an environment with those rules in place is a better situation than houses and apartments.

"How many people are going to be around?If you stay with your people and you don't make dumb mistakes, I think we could have a successful school year," UB senior Keith Dickes Said.