Syracuse students suspended in latest crackdown by colleges

By Carolyn Thompson Associated Press

Syracuse University has suspended 23 students following a large on-campus gathering, the latest example of college crackdowns on the kind of socializing that can spread the coronavirus and sink plans for in-person learning this semester.

Syracuse officials announced the disciplinary action late Thursday and said they were reviewing security camera footage to identify additional students seen on video crowding into the campus Quad Wednesday night in violation of rules limiting crowds and requiring masks.

The gathering drew a sharp rebuke earlier from Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie, who said participants had undercut efforts to make residential learning possible.

“We have one shot to make this happen,” Haynie wrote in a letter to students. “The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong.”

Social media has been filled with such gatherings in recent weeks as college students make their way back to campuses nationwide.

Purdue University suspended 36 students for going to a party. Other suspensions have been reported at Virginia Tech, St. Olaf College in Minnesota and Radford University in Virginia.

Some universities have brought students back only to reverse course and move classes online amid outbreaks linked in some cases to student housing and parties. Notre Dame and Michigan State universities are among the latest to announce the switch this week. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said it would revert to remote learning after clusters of the virus were discovered in dorms, a fraternity house and other student housing.

As at other campuses, Syracuse students returning to campus were asked to sign a pledge to follow guidelines, which also include avoiding travel during the semester and submitting to virus testing. Campus security broke up Wednesday’s gathering, and the students identified so far received interim suspensions, which can be appealed.

Penn State on Thursday suspended a fraternity for hosting a party that violated the school’s COVID-19 ban on Greek gatherings. Videos and photos showed the Pennsylvania Lambda chapter of Phi Kappa Psi hosting an indoor gathering of more than 15 people, university officials said.

Penn State officials also said they had to disperse crowds of students, many of them maskless, who were congregating on campus late Wednesday.

In a note to the campus community, Penn State President Eric Barron warned that such behavior could prompt the university to send students home and shift to remote instruction.

“I ask students flouting the University’s health and safety expectations a simple question:” Barron wrote. “Do you want to be the person responsible for sending everyone home?”
___
Collin Binkley in Boston and Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania contributed to this report. Thompson reported from Buffalo, N.Y.

Latest in Latest News

Latest News

Illinois Professor Accused of Hate Crime After Spitting on Black Woman

Latest News

Activists Address Racial Imbalance in Media Coverage of Missing Women

Latest News

Video of Alvin Motley Jr. Killing Won’t Be Released

Latest News

Rachel Nichols Let Go by ESPN From NBA Programming

Latest News

Dylann Roof’s Death Sentence for Charleston Church Shooting Upheld

Georgia Chase Deadly Shooting

Latest News

Federal Trial for Men Charged With Killing Ahmaud Arbery Set for 2022 

Latest News

Johnson & Johnson: Booster Shot Causes Nine-Fold Increase in Antibodies 

Latest News

NBA Veteran JR Smith Joins North Carolina A&T Golf Team