Ohio State suspends more than 200 students for COVID-19 violations

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Ohio State University has suspended more than 200 students for what the school says were violations of coronavirus safety measures.

Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the university, told Forbes all 228 students will have to leave campus while their cases are pending. The majority of the suspensions, he said, concern alleged social distancing violations at off-campus parties.

“Let me remind you: organizations and individuals will be held accountable for their unsafe behaviors,” Melissa S. Shivers, Ohio State’s vice president for student life, said in a statement Friday. “Our Student Conduct team is in the process of opening dozens of conduct cases which likely will result in interim suspensions for individuals and student organizations who have chosen to hold parties that are not consistent with safe and healthy guidelines.”

“For many, this could be their last semester as a student,” she added. “For first year students, their first college experience at Ohio State. For some, this is where they find housing safety and food security. Don’t make intentional choices now that inherently challenge the future for so many members of our Buckeye family.”

Gatherings of 10 or more people on or off-campus are banned for students.

Johnson told the Columbus Dispatch that some of the students who received notices have told the university they no longer live at the address in question and that the university will lift suspensions if the address change is confirmed.

Students cited for attending or hosting large parties also risk losing access to campus and non-remote classes, according to the newspaper. Student organizations, meanwhile, would stand to lose university recognition or funding and access to event spaces.

Tags Coronavirus Ohio State University
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