- College and universities around the country have taken to suspending students who violate social distancing guidelines.
- More than 220 students were suspended at Ohio State University for failing to observe guidelines, and at Syracuse University, 23 students were suspended for gathering on the campus’s quad last week.
- “The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Be better. Be adults,” a Syracuse University official said in a letter following the suspensions.
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Across the country, college students are being suspended for violating university COVID safety protocols.
Earlier this week, Ohio State University suspended 228 students prior to classes starting, CNN reported. Students are limited to socially distanced gatherings of 10 or fewer people and risk interim suspension if they violate guidelines.
“Let me remind you: organizations and individuals will be held accountable for their unsafe behaviors,” Vice President for Student Life at OSU Melissa Shivers said in a letter to students on Friday. “And remember that this is all about more than the individual. We all have one shot at this.”
At Syracuse University in New York, 23 students were suspended for similar violations to the college’s COVID safety protocols. The suspensions took place after a group of students gathered on the campus lawn Wednesday evening.
“The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Be better. Be adults. Think of someone other than yourself. And also, do not test the resolve of this university to take swift action to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus and Central New York community.,” Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie said in a statement emailed to the Syracuse University community on Thursday.
Haynie criticized students who “selfishly jeopardized” the ability for the university to continue with the fall semester on campus.
Schools across the country are grappling with the risks of bringing students back to campus. At the University of Alabama, more than 560 cases of coronavirus have been reported with 531 of them being at the flagship Tuscaloosa campus, the Washington Post reported.
“The rise in COVID cases that we have seen in recent days is unacceptable and if unchecked threatens our ability to complete the semester on campus. Now is the time for action,” University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said in a press conference on Monday.
Some universities are pulling back from on-campus classes and moving to online instruction in response to the virus. Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill made national headlines with 135 cases of the virus in only seven days. The spike in cases prompted the university to move to all-remote instruction.