6 WVU students face discipline for off-campus parties

WVU students attended parties over the weekend, and the university said Thursday that six students will be punished for not following COVID-19 guidelines.
WVU students attended parties over the weekend, and the university said Thursday that six students will be punished for not following COVID-19 guidelines.(Veronica Ogbe)
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WTAP) - Six West Virginia University students will be punished by the school after an investigation into violations of COVID-19 guidelines at off-campus parties held last weekend in Morgantown.

Dean of Students Corey Farris said the students will be required to report to the Office of Student Conduct to face sanctions.

The university announced the sanctions in a letter to students on Thursday, saying the parties were hosted and attended by students.

With the start of classes just a few days away, Farris reminded students that they are responsible for helping “manage our campus during this pandemic.” That includes avoiding gatherings of more than 25 people in one place; wearing a face mask or covering; maintaining at least six feet of social distancing; and washing your hands and practicing proper hygience.

“These are not new protocols,” Farris said. “I know you have heard us say this many times over the summer and you are probably tired of hearing it. However, it is more important than ever as the semester gets underway that you take these steps.”

According to Farris, a student’s initial failure to comply with WVU’s student code of conduct will result in probation and the requirement of an educational activity. This probation will be reflected on a student’s disciplinary record which is made available to future employers upon request.

A second failure to comply will be considered a violation of probation, and the student will be referred to a hearing that could include suspension or expulsion from the university.

In addition, student organizations that fail to follow WVU’s health and safety policies as it relates to social gatherings, or the state and local public health orders, will face possible deferred suspension or loss of recognition by the university.

“We are taking the health and safety of our campus environment very seriously,” Farris said. “The news is full of stories about universities and colleges that have recently moved to offering remote instruction only due to students not following the health and safety guidelines. Those behaviors led to an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on those campuses and the eventual closing of on-campus instruction.

“I want to acknowledge that the majority of our students are doing the right things and taking the proper precautions. I want to personally thank you for demonstrating our Mountaineer values and respecting each other. I appreciate that you are modeling the values of our university.”

Copyright 2020 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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