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Large gathering of students may force Syracuse University campus to shut down

Large groups of Syracuse University students gathered on campus Wednesday night, videos and pictures circulating on social media show.

At least 100 students, some without masks, are seen on video gathering in the university’s Quad, not social distancing. The videos come less than a week before the official start of classes on Monday.

Read More: DailyOrange.com  |  Syracuse.com  |  SpectrumLocalNews.com

Below is Syracuse’s full statement from Mike Haynie, the school’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation:

Dear Students:

Last night, a large group of first-year students selfishly jeopardized the very thing that so many of you claim to want from Syracuse University—that is, a chance at a residential college experience. I say this because the students who gathered on the Quad last night may have done damage enough to shut down campus, including residence halls and in-person learning, before the academic semester even begins.

Make no mistake, there was not a single student who gathered on the Quad last night who did not know and understand that it was wrong to do so. Instead, those students knowingly ignored New York State public health law and the provisions of the Syracuse University Stay Safe Pledge. Even more selfish and unsettling is how the actions of those students willfully undercut the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly over the summer to set the conditions for the continuation of residential learning. Even more selfish and unsettling is how the actions of those students may prevent our seniors from claiming their final year of college on our residential campus. Even more selfish and unsettling is how the actions of those students could force a situation where some of their classmates may have to vacate the most safe and stable and supportive living situation they have ever known.

A full investigation of last night’s incident is underway. The Department of Public Safety is reviewing security camera video from the Quad, and individuals that can be identified will be immediately referred to the student conduct process.

All this said, I want you to understand right now and very clearly that we have one shot to make this happen. The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Be better. Be adults. Think of someone other than yourself. And also, 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.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

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