Panama City Beach Implements New Rules for Spring Break

Sierra Allen

For years, college spring break has been used as a time for students to spend time in the sun and travel with friends.

“I think the timing is perfect,” said sophomore exploratory major, Bailey Coppenger. “What other time in your life are you going to want to go to a beach with 10 other girls and drink every day? Probably never.”

Panama City Beach has been one of the most popular destinations that tends to be chosen. Over the years, students have been able to let loose, release their stress and get wild before returning to the buildings of campus, but this year will be a little different.

Alcohol will no longer be allowed on the sandy beaches of Panama City after the Panama City Beach Council Team unanimously voted 5-0 in favor of the ban in 2015. The ban also affects the time limit of which alcohol can be purchased with its shut off time at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. during previous years.

The new rules were influenced by a shooting at a house party where seven students were injured, as well as the influx of arrests on public intoxication and drug charges. According to, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office shows that 928 totals arrests were made between March 1 and March 29 on 1,237 different charges. Drugs arrests also increased from 67 in 2014 to 143 in 2015.

“I honestly think it’s dumb,” said junior Haleigh Shammo, an applied conflict management major. “If I’m 21, let me drink. If I get too rowdy, then you can get me in trouble, but until then let me live my life. A part of college is being able to experience new things and making … memories with your mates.”

The majority of students might go out of town for leisure during spring break, but others often go on trips for classes. Junior integrative studies major Kahzar Powell is traveling to Memphis, Tennessee with other classmates and Professor Christina Mcvay to visit burial grounds and museums that pertains to Ida B. Wells, a famous African-American journalist, newspaper editor and suffragist.

“Ida B. Wells started an anti-lynching movement and three of her friends were buried in the cemetery, so we’re going there to go to different museums and work on that cemetery since it’s been abandoned. I thought about going to Panama, but that’s not really my go-to and I don’t think I will have fun there,” said Powell.

Although new restrictions have been implemented, some students will not let this stop them from having fun. “Rules are meant to be broken anyways,” says Coppenger. “It doesn’t bother me … I plan on having a very memorable experience in Florida with some great friends. Even if I get arrested I’ll still be happy.”

Sierra Allen is the student life reporter for The Kent Stater. For more information contact her at [email protected].