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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure suspends 21 students for large off-campus parties in Allegany

Oct 03, 2020 |

St. Bonaventure University summarily suspended 21 students today for violating the university’s Community Compact that obligates students to abide by COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Students had to sign the compact upon arrival to the university last month.

Two large parties were held at off-campus houses in the village of Allegany Friday night, violating the large-gathering restriction and social distancing policies the university spelled out in its fall semester reopening plan.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” said Dr. Dennis R. DePerro, university president. “I know, because I see it with my eyes as I walk around campus every day, that the vast majority of our students are complying with the safety standards we need to abide by to allow us to finish the in-person portion of the semester on Nov. 24.

“After we had to suspend more than two dozen students in early September, I thought that would be enough of a cautionary tale for the entire student body to realize that we were taking this very seriously. Cattaraugus County has had its most significant uptick in positive COVID cases over the last couple weeks and incidents like this only exacerbate the potential for further spread of the virus.

“These students need to realize they are jeopardizing not only the completion of our semester on campus, but more importantly, the health of our campus community,” DePerro said.

On Sept. 6, 28 students were suspended after a large party on campus in the Garden Apartments.

During an interim (summary) suspension, students are denied access to all campus facilities — including but not limited to academic buildings, residence halls, library, dining facilities, and sporting events — and any university-sponsored functions. Judicial hearings will be conducted this week.

Residential students who attended the parties must turn in their keys and ID cards and leave campus by 7 p.m. today. All suspended students must submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

Students will remain enrolled in their courses but cannot attend class in person until the judicial, appeal and punitive processes have concluded.

The university may impose interim sanctions up to and including a summary suspension upon notification of alleged violations where the interim sanctions are advisable to protect and maintain the safety of the university community.

To date, the university community has had eight positive COVID tests, only one of which remains active. The other seven have recovered. Updates on COVID-19 cases and testing can be found on the university’s COVID-19 tracker at www.sbu.edu/COVID-19.