BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Students expected some COVID-related changes for the start of school at CU Boulder.
“For the most part, I think they were really clear about how things were going to go,” freshman Alex Bonardi said.
“I guess I just expected everyone to be wearing masks, and kind of keeping their space—like they have been,” freshman Spencer Garner said.
But a memo, sent out last week, about party restrictions came as a bit more of a surprise to students.
“I was kind of shook at first because it was really serious and all in bold. But then, once you start to read it and process it, it makes sense,” Garner told FOX31.
The memo outlines consequences for any student that violates a public health order, in connection to attending a party—on or off campus.
“It was definitely like ‘oh my god, that’s kind of scary’ because you never know—you might be caught in a situation like that,” freshman Angelina Trento said. “I was definitely scared at first, but I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Students who are caught hosting or attending a party or large gathering will not be allowed on campus for two weeks, placed on probation, and required to participate in educational sanctions—though the school did not specify what those were.
It was a concern one senior voiced to the Problem Solvers last week, after he captured pictures and videos of fellow CU students ignoring social distancing guidelines.
“It almost seemed like a regular weekend, despite what is going on,” Miles Levin said, back on Aug. 24.
“[I] Just saw hoards of freshmen and upperclassmen congregating, meeting up with friends, headed to parties.”
CU’s “party memo” was sent out several days after that, and explains multiple violations could lead to a minimum of a semester-long suspension—in which a student would be automatically withdrawn from their classes.
“I think they’re taking it pretty seriously, because we want to stay here as long as possible,” freshman Beck Woodhull said.
“We want to be here in person to learn. It’s way easier to learn in person than it is online. They have to do what they have to do,” Woodhull added.
Some say they’re taking advantage of the great outdoors, while these new guidelines are in place.
“We just hang out a lot,” Bonardi said laughing. “We have gone to different restaurants and explored everything Boulder has—hiking and biking and such.”
FOX31 reached out to Colorado State University, to find out if they had issued similar party restrictions.
Here was their response:
“CSU is incredibly proud of our students; at this time, we have heard that they are primarily doing a great job at avoiding and not hosting large gatherings. While this can always be improved, we want to recognize that the majority of our students are following public health guidance, and making good decisions.
Our Student Conduct Services works closely with FCPS to identify any off campus student behavior that should be addressed through the Student Conduct Code. As of today, that office has verified that no students have been contacted by police for hosting large parties, including contacts from this weekend. Student Conduct Services and Off-Campus Life review information available through police about CSU students who host gatherings that do not follow public health guidance. At this time, those offices have received a few reports of gatherings that are more than 10 and less than 30 individuals, and immediately reached out to those students to begin a conduct review process. Those students may face consequences for their behavior off campus through a range of sanctions, from educational interventions about the impact of their actions through expulsion. The university also has created a reporting system where anyone can report concerns about student, faculty or staff non-compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance.”CSU
The university’s COVID-19 policy is available here.