Quad gathering prompts talk of shutting down campus

Quad gathering prompts talk of shutting down campus

Social videos show dozens of students congregating Wednesday night despite pledges to abide by COVID-19 safety measures.
Published: August 20, 2020

Syracuse University issued a stern warning about “reckless and selfish behavior” and suggested residential learning may shut down before classes even begin next week after social media videos surfaced of several dozen people congregating on the Quad Wednesday night.

“The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Be better. Be adults. Think of someone other than yourself,” Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie said in a campus-wide email sent Thursday morning.

The videos that appeared on Instagram and Twitter Wednesday night showed a number of students convening near tents on the Quad with little indication of social distancing and very few clearly wearing masks. This would be considered a violation of the Syracuse University Stay Safe Pledge, which requires masks and social distancing on campus at all times.

Any SU student that disregards the pledge can be referred to SU’s Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

Haynie said a full investigation has been launched in an attempt to identify any students who attended the gathering. The Department of Public Safety is reviewing security footage from campus and all students identified could face suspension.

“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,” Haynie said.

The video of the students’ health-hazardous gathering in the Quad originally appeared on @BarstoolCuse on Instagram. The popular service published its own statement Thursday, acknowledging that the actions of fellow students were “the stupidest” video the account has been sent.

“We’re known for partying harder than everyone else out there, but for this semester, we should work to gain another distinction,” Barstool wrote. “And that distinction is being the school that was able to overcome the odds and stay open the Fall 2020 semester.”

Barstool, known for posting party-centered college content, used its platform to bring awareness to the ongoing pandemic, emphasizing the need for social distancing diligence, despite SU being named the No. 3 party school this year, according to the Princeton Review.

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