Socially distanced welcome weekend gathering

Some Ohio University students gathered in a small group Friday in the front yard of their Mill Street home. Photo by Ben Peters.

By Ben Peters

Athens NEWS Associate Editor

Ohio University students who disobey the university’s public health expectations, such as attending an off-campus social gathering with more than 10 people, could be at risk of a university suspension or removal from in-person classes, according to a university spokesperson.

University punishments for not following expectations, including wearing masks and social distancing, are not predetermined, OU Spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said, meaning that students who flout the rules would go through a formal process in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct to determine their penalty, if they receive any at all.

It’s unclear exactly how the university plans to field reports of possible violations of its safety expectations.

More than 200 students at The Ohio State University on Monday were issued formal interim suspensions for attending social gatherings with more than 10 people, inviting national attention to the university’s ruling.

Some students at Ohio State who never attended such gatherings received suspension notices, according to the student newspaper The Lantern, raising questions about the university’s ability to verify off-campus student activity.

Many off-campus OU students have recently returned to town, but Uptown house parties during “welcome weekend” were tame relative to past years in terms of size.

“We are very thankful that most of our students are following safety expectations, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and keeping gatherings to 10 or fewer people, both in our community and on our campuses,” Leatherwood said.

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