Colleges crack down on coronavirus rules as student parties rage on

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American universities are threatening strong punishments for students who violate coronavirus guidelines as alarming images of on-campus house parties and crowded college bars continue to surface. 

College around the country that chose to reopen for the fall semester with in-person classes have struggled to prevent coronavirus outbreaks as students throw caution to the wind and defy safety restrictions to keep their social calendars packed.  

Over the weekend a video of students at the University of Kansas throwing a wild party went viral as school administrators warned that ‘super-spreader’ events would no longer be tolerated.  

On Monday, officials announced that 23 fraternity and sorority houses near Michigan State University had been placed under mandatory quarantine due to a surge in coronavirus cases. 

Last week, the president of Arizona State University sent a letter to the state health department alleging that multiple bars near the school’s campus in Tempe were violating coronavirus restrictions. The letter included photos of businesses he accused of breaking the rules, showing throngs of young people packed inside.  

In Indiana, Purdue University announced that violations of the school’s coronavirus guidelines would be treated as severely as drug distribution, academic dishonesty and destruction of property. Purdue suspended at least 36 students late last month after cops broke up two off-campus parties. 

Meanwhile, many students across the US have placed the blame for outbreaks squarely on school officials, saying that it was irresponsible to hold in-person classes in the first place, especially without adequate testing systems. 

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American universities are threatening strong punishments for students who violate coronavirus guidelines as alarming images of house parties and crowded college bars continue to surface. Pictured: Dozens of University of Kansas students attend a packed party near the school's campus in Lawrence on Saturday night

American universities are threatening strong punishments for students who violate coronavirus guidelines as alarming images of house parties and crowded college bars continue to surface. Pictured: Dozens of University of Kansas students attend a packed party near the school’s campus in Lawrence on Saturday night 

On Monday, officials announced that 23 fraternity and sorority houses near Michigan State University had been placed under mandatory quarantine due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Pictured: MSU students play a drinking game at a house near campus on September 5

On Monday, officials announced that 23 fraternity and sorority houses near Michigan State University had been placed under mandatory quarantine due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Pictured: MSU students play a drinking game at a house near campus on September 5

Last week, the president of Arizona State University sent a letter to the state health department alleging that multiple bars near the school's campus in Tempe were violating coronavirus restrictions. The letter included photos of businesses he accused of breaking the rules, showing throngs of young people packed inside

Last week, the president of Arizona State University sent a letter to the state health department alleging that multiple bars near the school’s campus in Tempe were violating coronavirus restrictions. The letter included photos of businesses he accused of breaking the rules, showing throngs of young people packed inside 

In Indiana, Purdue University (pictured) announced that violations of the school's coronavirus guidelines would be treated as severely as drug distribution, academic dishonesty and destruction of property

In Indiana, Purdue University (pictured) announced that violations of the school’s coronavirus guidelines would be treated as severely as drug distribution, academic dishonesty and destruction of property

A KU professor raised the alarm about students flouting coronavirus restrictions on Saturday after he came across an off-campus party attended by dozens. 

Ward Lyles, an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration, posted a series of videos on Twitter of the gathering on the 1100 block of Mississippi Street in Lawrence.  

One of the videos showed young people standing close together on a porch with zero masks in sight.

‘Masks? Social distancing? Nope,’ Lyles wrote. ‘Super spreader event? Yep.’

The professor said he’d observed at least two other ‘massive’ parties near campus as well. 

He claimed that he recorded footage from far away because he didn’t want to shame individual students, but was trying to highlight the fact that irresponsible gatherings are taking place in spite of university regulations.   

More than 546 people affiliated with KU have tested positive for coronavirus in the three weeks since students returned to campus, according to the Kansas City Star.

The majority of cases involved students, with 332 cases coming from Greek life alone, the outlet reported. 

Amid mounting concerns about the virus spreading through the school, KU announced last week that its campus will remain open for in-person classes through November 24, at which point students will finish the semester remotely. 

Hundreds of students have joined calls to close the campus earlier than that – citing the ineffectiveness of coronavirus restrictions and a lack of testing. 

A KU professor raised the alarm about students flouting coronavirus restrictions on Saturday after he came across an off-campus party attended by dozens (pictured)

A KU professor raised the alarm about students flouting coronavirus restrictions on Saturday after he came across an off-campus party attended by dozens (pictured)

Arizona State University has seen similar issues with controlling the spread of the virus as more than 1,300 cases were linked to the school between August 1 and September 10. 

School officials now appear to be placing the blame for infections on bars located near the Tempe campus, rather than on students themselves.  

ASU President Michael Crow penned a letter to  Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr Cara Christ last week accusing four different restaurant-bars of violating state safety protocols. 

In the letter, obtained by ABC15, Crow included photos taken inside each of the establishments  – Zipps Sports Grills, 414 Pub & Pizza, Loco Patron and Kung Fu Tea – on September 5 and 6. 

‘I wanted to bring them to your personal attention because of the importance of the enforcement of the rules for the reopening and operation of restaurants which serve alcohol during this time of global pandemic,’ Crow wrote.  

Zipps Sports Grill responded to the letter by saying that it is ‘continuously working diligently to adhere to all state and city guidelines and restrictions’. 

‘While we appreciate President Crow taking such an interest in our Operation, our responsibility is to comply with AZ Department of Liquor and Maricopa Department of Health,’ a restaurant spokesperson said. 

‘When it comes to the safety and well-being of our employees and guests, we will continue to rely on their guidance and direction.’

ASU President Michael Crow penned a letter to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr Cara Christ last week accusing four different restaurant-bars of violating state safety protocols

ASU President Michael Crow penned a letter to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr Cara Christ last week accusing four different restaurant-bars of violating state safety protocols

In the letter, obtained by ABC15, Crow included photos taken inside each of the establishments - Zipps Sports Grills, 414 Pub & Pizza, Loco Patron and Kung Fu Tea (pictured) - on September 5 and 6

In the letter, obtained by ABC15, Crow included photos taken inside each of the establishments – Zipps Sports Grills, 414 Pub & Pizza, Loco Patron and Kung Fu Tea (pictured) – on September 5 and 6

Purdue University unveiled its new policy for students that violate the ‘Protect Purdue Pledge’ on August 19, saying that offenders will be subject to disciplinary action under the same guidelines as hazing and drug use. 

The Protect Purdue Pledge includes a number of safety requirements, including washing hands, social distancing, getting a flu vaccine and a ban on events where those rules are not followed.  

As of August 24, Purdue had already suspended more than 36 students following two incidents of police breaking up off-campus college parties.

‘Clearly, we are all social beings and desire to be among one another,’ Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students Katherine Sermersheim wrote in a letter to students. 

‘Hosting or attending a party, however, can have major unintended consequences in our unified disease prevention efforts and desire to keep the campus open. While risk is not binary and cannot entirely be eliminated, it can be managed. 

‘We must all do our part to protect Purdue and each other: avoid large gatherings, wear face coverings, social distance, follow directional signage, monitor and implement personal health safety protocols, to name a few.’

Sermersheim went on to write that the school would not hold back on harsh punishments for individuals who violate the pledge. 

‘Please know that we will be taking a hard line on conduct for those engaging in events and activities that run counter to our Protect Purdue commitments,’ she wrote.

‘Plainly stated, hosting or attending gatherings and parties where social distancing is not possible and masks are not worn represent violations of the Protect Purdue Pledge; if you don’t abide by rules, there is no place for you here.’ 

Purdue University unveiled its new policy for students that violate the 'Protect Purdue Pledge' on August 19, saying that offenders will be subject to disciplinary action under the same guidelines as hazing and drug use. Students are seen walking to classes on August 24

Purdue University unveiled its new policy for students that violate the ‘Protect Purdue Pledge’ on August 19, saying that offenders will be subject to disciplinary action under the same guidelines as hazing and drug use. Students are seen walking to classes on August 24

Northeastern University in Boston has also suspended at least 11 students for violating social distancing rules. 

On Monday 30 buildings near the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing were placed under mandatory quarantine – including nearly two dozen fraternity and sorority houses – after coronavirus cases were linked to them. 

‘I do not take this lightly, but there is an outbreak centered on Michigan State University and it is quickly becoming a crisis,’ Ingham County Health Officer Linda S Vail said in a statement. 

‘The surge in cases we have seen over the past few weeks is alarming. I am disheartened to add that this outbreak is being fueled in part by a lack of cooperation and compliance from some MSU students, many residing in the properties now under mandatory quarantine.’

In the Big Apple, New York University came under fire after young revelers packed Washington Square Park on back-to-back weekends as Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the school of doing little to prevent large gatherings. 

Last week, Winona State University in Minnesota and Bradley University in Illinois were forced to shut down their campuses entirely due to coronavirus outbreaks.   

Meanwhile, students at the University of Georgia and the University of Missouri have pleaded with administrators to move to remote learning as their campuses continue to rack up thousands of coronavirus cases.  

New York University came under fire after young revelers packed Washington Square Park on back-to-back weekends as Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the school of doing little to prevent large gatherings

New York University came under fire after young revelers packed Washington Square Park on back-to-back weekends as Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the school of doing little to prevent large gatherings 

Dozens of people are seen packed into a pool near the University of South Carolina

Dozens of people are seen packed into a pool near the University of South Carolina 

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