After Amherst police on Saturday were called to break up a crowd of about 200 mostly unmasked students, officials at UMass Amherst plan to issue interim suspensions to students who were involved in what they’re describing as an “egregious violation of university policy.”

On-campus students who attended the party will also be subject to an interim housing restriction, which requires moving out of dorms, because “they pose an immediate health risk to other residents,” vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life Brandi Hephner LaBanc wrote in a message to students and families.

“It has become clear that a relatively small but highly visible subsection of the student population in the Amherst area feels entitled to break the agreed-upon policies and rules so they can party, with no regard for the health and safety of their peers,” she wrote. “This selfish and disrespectful attitude contributes to the spread of the virus and puts all of us at risk.”

The email said that this and similar public health policy violations “will be dealt with swiftly and effectively so those of you abiding by the rules can enjoy more university privileges” and described the events as “actions of these haughty few” that “are not representative of the larger student population who consistently demonstrate their commitment to public safety.”

As of Monday, there were 205 active COVID-19 cases at UMass Amherst, and the school had identified a total of 2,146 positive cases since its asymptomatic testing program began on Aug. 6, 2020.

(Copyright (c) 2023 State House News Service.

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