By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
All-University Sing, a longstanding tradition that is integral to the Baylor experience, has somehow managed to survive the pandemic. Sing has been performed for 67 consecutive years and will most likely continue for its 68th, but due to the ongoing pandemic and the restrictions Baylor Student Activities will have to impose because of it, All-University Sing should not happen this year.
I would like to start by acknowledging that All-University Sing is an important part of Baylor, and I certainly understand why it is special to so many people. It is a wonderful way for students and organizations to show off their talents to fellow students, faculty and alumni.
But due to COVID-19, Sing is not the same, at least for this year. Baylor Student Activities will have to place restrictions that significantly limit acts. Based on how Pigskin Revue was done this past semester, there will most likely be a limited amount of people allowed per act, and those people will have to wear masks. Social distancing will also most likely be enforced during the act and there will be a notable lack of a live audience or band.
These restrictions take away what makes Sing special, memorable and worthwhile. It will be hard, dare I say impossible, for organizations to produce an act that will be up to the traditional standards of Sing and worth the price of admission.
This is not the fault of the organizations or acts, but simply a by-product of the tight restrictions. This is also not to say that any restrictions placed by Baylor Student Activities are a bad thing. In this pandemic, they are completely necessary to ensure student safety.
Personally, this leads me to the conclusion that Sing should not happen this year. What is the point of Sing if it will be a shadow of what it has been in recent years? Furthermore, having Sing is hypocritical, considering Baylor’s general policies about social distancing and what campus events are allowed.
In general, Baylor has made odd exceptions to their COVID-19 policies throughout the past semester. Greek life is not allowed to have gatherings over 10 people, yet Baylor is okay with having over 2,000 people pack into McLane Stadium’s student section? A moratorium that was placed until February 7 must be followed by all organizations, except for Baylor men’s and women’s basketball, who can have 500 students pile into the Ferrell Center.
Baylor’s confusing stance on the virus continues with Sing. It will be incredibly difficult to ensure that acts are staying socially distanced during performances, and Sing itself is not even remotely conducive to social distancing.
One can only speculate why Baylor has seemingly ignored COVID-19 for certain events while being incredibly strict on others. When the vaccine becomes more widely distributed to students on campus, then it may be an appropriate time to have Sing. But having Sing in the current state of affairs is folly.