• Ohio State University suspended 228 students even before the semester began after they violated the campus’ coronavirus rules and threw parties.
  • A school official said in a statement that the university has opened “dozens of conduct cases” in relation to the parties.
  • The Columbus Dispatch recently published photos showing large gatherings at houses near campus.
  • The suspensions come amid a spate of coronavirus outbreaks across the country coinciding with the start of the school year.
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Ohio State University issued 228 interim suspensions to students who broke the school’s coronavirus rules as of Monday – one day before classes formally started.

Melissa Shivers, the school’s vice president of student life, wrote in a statement that the school’s student conduct team opened “dozens of conduct cases” for students and student groups that threw parties “that are not consistent with safe and healthy guidelines.”

Shivers warned that the campus rules dictate that all students wear masks, stay six feet from others, and refrain from gathering in groups greater than 10 people both on- and off-campus.

“Perhaps knowing about the action we are taking will influence your decisions and prompt you to encourage others to take this situation seriously,” Shivers said in the statement. “Remember that this is all about more than the individual. We have one shot at this – responding to what so many of you asked for: an on-campus semester at Ohio State.”

Though classes officially started on Tuesday, Ohio State students have been living on campus since August 12.

ohio state university

Foto: A lone person makes their way through the 'Oval' at Ohio State University, a part of campus which, during the school year, is popular with students and faculty of the university, on August 13, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Source: Getty Images/Matthew Hatcher

The Columbus Dispatch published photos last week showing that students had thrown multiple large parties hosted in at least five houses just blocks away from campus. The photos showed that few attendees wore masks and stayed six feet apart.

A spokesman for Ohio State University confirmed to the Dispatch that 228 suspensions were issued as a result of the parties.

The suspensions come amid a spate of coronavirus outbreaks across the country coinciding with the start of the school year.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill already had to scrap its reopening plan after reporting four clusters of coronavirus cases - including one at a fraternity - even though classes were only in session for a week.

The problem isn't limited to college campuses, either. One school district in Nebraska recently canceled classes and quarantined at least two dozen staff members after several tested positive, and a Georgia high school reported at least nine coronavirus cases after a student posted pictures of packed hallways that quickly spread across social media.

In Arizona, one school district even had to cancel plans to reopen because 109 out of 250 teachers refused to attend in person.