Georgia College warns students attending parties, off-campus gatherings could face suspension

Georgia News

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – The president of Georgia College issued a warning to students related to COVID-19 and large gatherings on Monday.

GC President Steve Dorman sent a letter to students asking them to refrain from attending house parties and off-campus gatherings as local COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

Dorman said Georgia College will discipline students who are caught attending parties and large gatherings, citing the student code of conduct. The code of conduct says GC may discipline students in non-academic matters if they are endangering the university community.

“Any behavior that endangers the health and safety of our campus is serious business,” Dorman said.

Dorman said disciplinary action could include suspension from Georgia College.

“Your individual decisions will have a tremendous impact on our entire community,” Dorman said. “It’s up to you to keep us together.”

The university has been reporting confirmed cases of the coronavirus daily on its website. On Monday, GC reported 69 new student cases.

The school is complying with guidance from the University System of Georgia and requiring face coverings to be worn inside all campus buildings. The City of Milledgeville is also requiring face masks in public.

Read Dorman’s full letter to students, below.

“Dear Bobcats,

As we begin a new week, I want to thank those students who are wearing their face coverings and practicing social distancing on campus. Let’s stay disciplined and continue to do this consistently and diligently.

The same discipline must to be applied off campus. It is extremely important.

I am asking everyone to adapt your personal activities and refrain from attending house parties and large off-campus gatherings.  Your risk of contracting COVID-19 increases at large gatherings, at house parties and other places in town.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, we have seen an increase of COVID positive students directly linked to off-campus parties and gatherings, which continue to occur.

This activity is totally unacceptable and needs to stop immediately.

It endangers the safety of others and threatens to prevent the desire of most of you to remain together here at GC for the semester.

Therefore, earlier today I met with Student Government President, Nathan Graham, and Student Government Chief Justice, Kelly Bousquette, and asked them to enforce the student code of conduct, which states:

Georgia College may discipline a student in nonacademic matters. This normally involves matters which occur on the Georgia College campus or at Georgia College-sponsored events, but may be extended to off-campus matters which could reasonably be expected to impact the Georgia College community.

Students are subject to disciplinary action for violating the following Code of Conduct: 

Conduct that constitutes a danger to the personal safety of other members of the university community.

Let me be clear: Students found in violation of this code of conduct as it relates to off-campus activities, such as house parties and large gatherings, thereby endangering the health and safety of others related to the spread of COVID 19, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from Georgia College.

Any behavior that endangers the health and safety of our campus is serious business.  Once again, I appeal to you and firmly ask that you refrain from organizing or going to parties and other large gatherings where social distancing and mask wearing may be compromised.

Please know that your avoiding parties and large gatherings will help ensure that we all stay together this semester.  And, please know that we are supportive of efforts by the City of Milledgeville to encourage all of us to practice safe behaviors downtown.

A lot is at stake here.

Your individual decisions will have a tremendous impact on our entire community. It’s up to you to keep us together.

Let’s redouble our effort here please.

Thank you.”

Steve Dorman, Georgia College President

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