Following numerous updates from Stanford administrators regarding COVID-19 in the past week, academic departments and campus residences alike rushed to meet university guidelines by cancelling planned events with more than 150 people. Freshman Bobby Griffins decided that alongside research meetings that would have had an international audience and all-campus parties expecting high turn-outs, that his own birthday party would also have to be cancelled in compliance with guidelines.

Griffins had previously invited a wide range of friends, from dorm mates to the people in his Thinking Matters course fall quarter, to the informal kickback to celebrate his birthday. Upon receiving Russell Furr’s email update, however, he decided to return the five handles and two beers he had acquired for the event.

“As soon as I saw that email, my heart sank. I can’t be totally sure of a headcount for the rager this weekend, but I knew that it was likely to be more than 150, maybe even 200 people, and I just can’t take that risk,” Griffin said. “As a part of the Stanford 500, the responsibilities that come with that mean I need to play it safe, even though I know so many of my friends were really looking forward to it. I hate to let down the masses.”

Following the lengthy email Griffins sent out apologizing for the disappointment he was sure came with the news of cancellation, invitees questioned Griffins optimism towards turnout. “To be honest, I was a little skeptical,” freshman and invited guest Maria Sanchez said. “On the Facebook event, about 40 people marked themselves as ‘interested’ and maybe 7 or 8 had actually committed to ‘going.’ I mean, how many people can the Cedro computer cluster even realistically fit?”

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