Ohio State University (OSU) suspended 228 students Tuesday for violation of the school’s coronavirus guidelines, according to 10WBNS.
Students found hosting or attending parties were issued interim suspensions, though it is unclear if anyone in attendance was at high risk or had been in contact with anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Interim suspension is reserved for students that pose “a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of themselves, others, or to property.” This suspension denies students access to the OSU’s campuses and only allows students to do online learning, according to the school’s code of conduct. Other punishments for violation OSU’s new guidelines include removal from student housing and denial of privileges like school-related trips and access to sporting events.
The wave of suspensions come after the university recently put out guidance banning large gatherings “to help keep Buckeyes safe and healthy.” According to the accountability measures portion of the school’s guidelines, the rule applies both on and off-campus events.
Ohio State’s website defines a gathering as “a formal or informal assembly of people that is either planned or spontaneous.” The guidelines appear to make no exceptions for workplaces where more than ten people are present, funerals, weddings or even trips to a hospital.
The new guideline is far more stringent than similar guidelines put out by the state. Currently, Ohio has a ban on large gatherings but makes several exceptions or events like weddings and funerals among others, cleveland.com reported.
OSU stated that “these restrictions do not prohibit gatherings for the purpose of the expression of First Amendment protected speech.” Though nothing is said regarding the First Amendments protection of the right to assemble.
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Ben Kolodny is a reporter for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. You can follow Ben on Twitter. Tips can be sent to [email protected]
Photo “Ohio State University Students” by Ohio State University.