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Greenville police shut down party of 400 students at ECU

Posted August 12, 2020 7:48 a.m. EDT
Updated August 12, 2020 10:10 a.m. EDT

WITN reports East Carolina University police have already had to shut down 20 student parties, one of which was packed with about 400 students.

Classes started at ECU on Monday.

ECU police say they’ve partnered with Greenville police and dedicated four of their officers to patrol areas that could be hot spots for parties and virus spread.

Some students, like ECU senior Sarah Springer, are trying to stay away from the parties. “I couldn’t bring that home to my parents. I would rather kind of stay and hang out with a select few,” she said.

ECU police say they will give students throwing parties with more than 25 people a warning at first. If they have to come back multiple times, students could face school-related consequences or even state charges.

In the Triangle at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mayor Pam Hemminger said citations will be handed out to people who violate the state's rule on holding large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police will be stepping up patrols in "known problem areas" around UNC on weekends, Hemminger said.

The crackdown comes days after a video was posted online showing a large number of young women not wearing masks or practicing social distancing outside a house near UNC's campus for a Chi Omega sorority event.

"I’d prefer that education worked. I’d prefer these gatherings didn’t happen," Hemminger said. "But if it takes a citation to get people’s notice and it’s an egregious violation, then that will be an option we will deploy if necessary."

To control parties at Duke University, a hotline is being setup so the public can report coronavirus concerns involving students. Students not following the rules can be reported through a hotline called Duke Speak Up. The number for the hotline is 800-826-8109, option 3, or people can email conduct@duke.edu.

Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said there will be consequences for those who violate trust.

"Somebody forgets a mask because they go down the hall to go to the bathrooms - that's one thing. Somebody goes to party with 200 people in their off-campus apartment - that's a very different set of circumstances," said Schoenfeld.

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