Thursday, October 22, 2020

14 MSU students at risk of suspension for ignoring COVID-19 safety mandates

September 17, 2020
The Breslin Center on July 17, 2020.
The Breslin Center on July 17, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Fourteen Michigan State University students are currently at risk of interim suspension for breaking COVID-19 safety rules such as hosting parties and refusing to wear masks.

These practices are in violation of the MSU Community Compact, which requires students to wear masks and practice social distancing, also the Ingham County emergency order that restricted outdoor gatherings to 25 people or less.

"We have 51 incident reports currently being processed by our Dean of Students Office for possible violations of the community compact and Ingham County emergency orders," MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen said in an email.

The 51 cases are being processed through the MSU Student Conduct system, with 14 under review for interim suspension measures. These are short term measures that the Dean of Students can take until the conduct case is resolved.

Olsen said that if a student's continued presence at the university poses a clear and present danger to the health or safety of the individuals or property, that is a measure they can take.

According to the MSU Student Handbook, students can challenge the interim suspensions by proving that they're no longer "a clear and present danger to the health or safety of persons or property."

"At this time each case is unique and reviewed on a case by case basis...," Olsen said. "I can tell you that we are processing those in the most expeditious way possible."

Since Aug. 30, roughly 200 cases of COVID-19 have been reported involving MSU students living off-campus, most of which are in group homes such as fraternities and sororities.

President Samuel L. Stanley addressed the high number of cases in the Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

"Most of the cases are attributed to exposures that took place in gatherings, either large — more than 25 — or some smaller social gatherings of five to ten people," Stanley said. "But key to this is not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing."

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