Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issues COVID-19 warning to college students

BOSTON — Boston University announced Tuesday that it is starting the spring semester later in January and is also canceling spring break in March. This comes as the school cracks down on students, including those busted for partying over the weekend.

Students are in trouble after BU campus police found them having an outdoor party on west campus early Sunday morning in an area known to students as the Grotto. According to the school’s website the students were not abiding by social distancing guidelines and there were, “25-plus people with alcohol, close together, with no masks or their masks pulled down around their chin.”

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told Boston 25 News that he’s concerned college students may blow it for the rest of us.

“You took the time to come here to college and you’ve been isolating in your own homes in different states and cities around America and when you come here it doesn’t mean there’s a free pass to go out and just gather in large groups,” Walsh said.

In August Boston University said it would suspend students who host or attend on- or off-campus gatherings exceeding 25 people, which follows the Massachusetts limit on indoor gatherings. The school’s most recent weekly compliance report shows there were 614 warnings issued for missing or failing to schedule COVID-19 tests.

There were an additional 20 reports of on- and off-campus gatherings without face coverings with no students disciplined, meaning one more citation and they are suspended.

“We need to keep these numbers down. If we go into a second surge that potentially could be closing colleges, that means closing schools and closing restaurants,” Walsh said.

>>>MORE: As COVID-19 clusters continue popping up in colleges, universities, are students following safety protocols?

Disciplinary hearings began Tuesday for the Boston University students allegedly caught partying without following proper COVID guidelines.

The school said they could each be suspended for the rest of the semester and lose their tuition or face a deferred suspension. That means they would be suspended if they incur a second disciplinary infraction of any kind.

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