Penn State president responds to reports of student gatherings, fraternity suspended

The Pennsylvania State University president is responding to reports of crowds and gatherings on campus.

PSU President Eric Barron says the school saw reports of crowds of students congregating in large numbers outside of East Halls on the University Park Campus.

Barron says many taking part in those gatherings were violating university requirements and State College ordinance by not wearing masks, or physical distancing.

"Last night’s behavior is unacceptable. I ask students flaunting the University’s health and safety expectations a simple question: Do you want to be the person responsible for sending everyone home?" Barron said in a statement released Thursday morning.

In the statement, Barron went on to say that the behavior would not be tolerated and threatened to "pivot" to fully remote instruction.

"This behavior cannot and will not be tolerated. We have said from the beginning health and safety is our priority, and if the University needs to pivot to fully remote instruction we will," the statement read.

The university says they are using their student conduct process to identify students who are not compliant. Barron stressed the importance of students understanding the consequences for such violations, including possible expulsion from the school.

University officials also announced a fraternity had been placed on interim suspension Thursday morning for a potential violation of COVID-19 rules regarding socials.

"Ultimately, this is not about sanctioning. It is about protecting individual and community health. And, I want to end on a positive note. I personally have been traversing the University Park campus, and downtown State College. I have been impressed by the numbers of students and families who are masking up, physically distancing, and modeling good community practices. But make no mistake, it only takes a few to ruin it for the many, as we have seen at other universities across the country. So let’s remember. This is our community. It’s our responsibility," Barron said.



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