Cellphone video captured a disturbing scene Wednesday night at Syracuse University, reportedly a large group of freshmen gathered in the quad. The university described it as “selfish and reckless behavior.”
“I hope there are no consequences from this just because it was outside and people were wearing masks, but you know, I’m hoping that there’s no, like, outbreak of COVID from this,” one student said.
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Less than 24 hours later, the university sent a letter to students, writing the gathering “… may have done damage enough to shut down campus, including residence halls and in-person learning, before the academic semester even begins.”
The violation of coronavirus rules is not limited to Syracuse.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Thursday, University of Connecticut students also made headlines this week for having a party — with no masks — in one of the dorms.
“We all want to have fun and we want to socialize, but to post it out on social media, it was like a little crazy,” student Alexa Dileone said.
“The party was out of hand and like that shouldn’t have happened obviously, so like I think the school handled that well,” student Josh Mills added.
The school said the students involved in the party were “removed” from campus housing. It’s unclear if they were sent home.
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Meanwhile, UConn just announced it’s temporarily pausing its football program because six players tested positive for COVID-19.
UConn said the cluster does not stem from that dorm party, but instead from the athletes living in close proximity.
“They’ve tested thousands and have a positivity rate of less than 1%. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re going to be able to get our colleges open safely,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The positivity rate is also less than 1% statewide in Connecticut and New York.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
UConn, like several schools, has numerous protocols in place to try and keep everyone healthy as they welcome students back to campus.
Despite this, college consultant Christopher Rim, CEO of Command Education, said universities should expect parties.
“Socialization is part of the college experience. If colleges didn’t want that or agree to limit that, I don’t understand why college administrators would try to bring students back on campus,” Rim said.
“The only way it’s gonna work is if the students follow the protocols in place. And if that happens, I think we’ll be fine,” student Ben Pulsifer said.
UConn said it’s partnering with local officials to also support safety efforts off campus. That includes working with the governor’s office to help the town of Mansfield ban gatherings of more than 25 people.
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