In a video tweeted Wednesday evening, a group of about 100 people can be seen gathered closely together not wearing masks. The video has since gained more than 110,000 views as of Wednesday night.
IU responded Thursday on Twitter explaining it had been made aware of the event and were looking further into it. The university also said they would proceed with disciplinary action.
“Today we will identify participants and hand down suspensions,” the tweet said Thursday.
In the video, those shown are in violation of social distancing regulations created by the university. In addition, the gathering was not compliant with Indiana’s state-wide mask requirement or Monroe County’s restriction on private gatherings exceeding 50 people.
IU went on to outline the policy regarding noncompliance with university guidelines for COVID-19 Health and Safety Directives. Students in violation of the university’s guidelines can be subject to suspension or expulsion,according to the noncompliance policy.
Before arriving at IU, students were expected to sign a Student Commitment Form that said they are required to wear a mask in all public spaces, practice social distancing and notify the university if they experience symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
A tweet from IU Bloomington asks students who have attended large gatherings to monitor their symptoms and to visit the IU COVID Health Service site if they start feeling sick. Students can also get tested if they don't feel sick, according to the tweet. More information is on theIU Testing for COVID-19 page.
Following the university’s response on Twitter, students were contacted through text and email regarding large group gatherings and other policy infractions. Students were warned that disregarding health regulations could lead to the immediate suspension of in-person classes, in the email sent from IU President Michael McRobbie Thursday.
McRobbie concluded the email by encouraging students to change the direction the university is currently heading. Several universities such as the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University have recently decided to end in-person classes in response to sharp increases in COVID-19 cases.
“Right now, there are people on social media posting about how irresponsible students are going to force us all back online,” McRobbie said in the email. “They think it is inevitable. Prove them wrong.”