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President Suspends Students for Reported COVID Violations

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SUNY Plattsburgh President Alex Enyedi issued interim suspension letters Wednesday to 43 students who allegedly violated campus health, safety and other policies.

The on-campus students are required to leave their residence halls rooms and will not be permitted on campus until further notice. They may not physically attend class or go to campus facilities, among other restrictions.

"Campus and the wider Plattsburgh community's health and safety is our highest priority," Enyedi said. "Actions have consequences, and this demonstrates we mean what we say.

"Most students are following our health and safety rules, directions that are integral to our restart. This is demonstrated by the superb move-in process that brought students back to the city and residence halls. I am also proud that local shopping centers and big box stores I have visited with are very complimentary of our students' adherence to face masking and social distancing,” he said.

The students receiving interim suspensions gathered at Sailor's Beach, a closed park in the City of Plattsburgh, Friday, Aug. 21. Members of Plattsburgh City Police and SUNY Plattsburgh University Police observed students not in compliance with social distancing requirements and very few, if any, of the students present were wearing face coverings.

An interim suspension can be imposed by the president to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the community, if a student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, campus operations and for other reasons. A separate campus judicial process will determine the future status of these students.

In its campus restart plan, the college detailed that its Student Code of Conduct will be utilized for those who violate campus rules, including off-campus students and student organizations. This encompasses suspected violations of college COVID-19 policies and state limitations on gatherings. Violations of the guidelines result in referrals to student conduct to consider suspension or dismissal, which is the case here.

"It is for our students — who want to be here, who need to be here — and our full campus and North Country communities that we will simply not tolerate violations. All members of the campus community are expected to abide by our policies and should anticipate the college actively enforcing them," Enyedi said.

In restarting fall classes, the college is driven by guiding principles of safety, student access to higher education, efficiency, and a focus on its student-centered mission. SUNY Plattsburgh is following CDC, New York Forward, Clinton County Department of Health and other applicable reopening guidelines in our planning process. Details are online at plattsburgh.edu/covid-19.

A robust education approach is coupled with active enforcement. Among the highest priorities to ensure student, faculty and staff safety and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 are community wide participation in our social distancing and face covering policy and enforcement of the policy.

All on-campus students sign an addendum to their housing contract that clearly outlines required behavior. Student conduct policies are also a vital component to ensuring the safety and health of our campus community. Individual responsibility, accountability and enforcement of social distancing and public health laws are essential to everyone’s health, safety and educational opportunity.

A violation reporting hotline is available at 518-564-5555, or 5555 on campus.

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