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IU is investigating large gathering at Monroe Lake, IU spokesperson says



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Photos and videos of college-aged students at Monroe Lake are being investigated by IU. Alex Deryn

Over Labor Day weekend, photos and videos of college-aged students at Monroe Lake circulated on social media. Many of the photos showed students without masks and not properly following social distance rules. 

While it is not specifically clear that the students in the posts were IU students, Monroe Lake’s proximity to the university makes it a popular spot for students to gather during the warm months of the year. IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said the university is looking into the situation.

“We are fully investigating what was shown in the photos on social media,” Carney said in an email. “Other than that, I can say there will be potential sanctions against students who violate COVID health directives including unsafe large gatherings off campus.”

Carney said the potential sanctions are outlined on the university’s website. The policy allows for a number of potential sanctions. 

“Depending on the nature and occurrence of the violation, campus officials may impose sanctions up to and including interruption or termination of access to university systems and services, or suspension or expulsion from the university,” it says. “Further, and depending on course-specific rules, violations may constitute academic misconduct that can result in academic sanctions including grade reduction, removal from a course, suspension or expulsion.” 

Carney did not specify disciplinary actions will be taken against students involved in the incident from this past weekend. 

Lake Monroe Boat Rental, the company that rented the boats to the groups seen in the social media posts, said students were warned about the company's COVID-19 policies. 

“Before the boats went out we addressed the drivers and renters letting them know they were not allowed to meet with or tie up to other boats on the water,” the company said in a Facebook post. “We communicated explicitly that a violation of this rule would result in a loss of their deposit.”

A staff member checked on the group during their rental and consequently forfeited their deposit, the company's statement said. The company also said the individuals who violated their policies will have the remainder of their 2020 rentals cancelled and refunded. 

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