Ohio University’s Chinese New Year celebration, which was supposed to take place on Sunday, Feb. 9, has been postponed indefinitely.
The annual celebration is sponsored by OU’s Chinese Language Student Association, the Chinese Learners Association and the Chinese Cultural Exchange Association. The main student organizers from the three groups were contacted by several professors at OU, requesting that they postpone the event due to concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
Cameron Mauzy, a senior studying international business and business economics, is the president of the Chinese Language Student Association and one of the main organizers of the event. Mauzy said he thinks the indefinite postponement of the event will turn into a cancellation.
“With the coronavirus situation, some groups of people are kind of ignorant about the whole thing, and I don’t think the Chinese New Year gala would’ve been much affected by it,” Mauzy said.
The event is student sponsored every year. OU administration was not involved in the decision to postpone the event, Jim Sabin, media relations manager for OU, said in an email.
At least three other universities have canceled their Chinese New Year events, including the University of Akron, the University of Arizona and University of Exeter in England.
Cristine Boyd, director of media relations for the University of Akron, said a large amount of people planning to attend Akron’s Chinese New Year celebration were nervous about the timing in correlation with the coronavirus.
“Many individuals have voiced concerns about attending, knowing that a large amount of the population in attendance may have either traveled from China or been in contact with individuals who had,” Boyd said.
The University of Arizona announced in a press release that they were canceling the event due to “travel concerns and related challenges arising from the novel coronavirus.” The University of Exeter announced in a press release that they canceled the event because of “ongoing public concerns about coronavirus.”