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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Large parties at SDSU are a concern during COVID pandemic

"They were on the roof... there were probably 100 people in that backyard."

SAN DIEGO — A college party on a Saturday night, that's nothing new. But during a pandemic when we're supposed to be social distancing, it's enough to have people living near San Diego State very concerned.

"Too many people are being put at risk because of these students," says longtime college area resident Jean Hoeger.

Hoeger shared photos of recent house parties in the area around campus showing large crowds and no masks. Over the last few weeks has confirmed 1,068 of COVID-19 forcing the campus to stop in-person learning  

San Diego State University responded with this statement:

SDSU has for months, and in recent weeks, reinforced that all members of the campus community follow public health guidelines and public health orders as we are in a public health state of emergency. This did not start with the fall semester, it has been ongoing through extensive education campaigns since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the summer.

Regarding off-campus concerns, there is a level of complexity here around who has jurisdiction. SDSU has jurisdiction to enforce organizational and individual policies that specifically relate to student conduct. Such policies dictate that students must wear facial coverings while on campus, must maintain physical distance when around others, avoid hosting gatherings and are to avoid attending gatherings in groups larger than those allocated in the guidelines provided by the state of California, San Diego County, and SDSU. 

Consequences range from an official warning to expulsion. The university also continues to collaborate with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to make contact with residences where multiple concerns or complaints have been received, as they have jurisdiction.

Since Aug. 24, included in the nearly 650 notices of alleged violations relating to SDSU COVID-19-related student code of conduct policies that have been issued are 69 community notices. The community notices have been hand-delivered by San Diego State University Police to individual residences within the College Area (off campus) where alleged COVID-19 related misconduct, including gatherings, have been reported. 

The community response notices are intended to inform residents that the university has received reported concerns and to provide specific information about public health practices.

On Aug. 27, the first week of the fall semester, the university contracted with Elite Security to aid in both on and off-campus enforcement. Going into the Labor Day weekend, the university increased patrols with Elite Security, which now occur on both weekdays and weekends. 

They have also had administrators personally support patrolling efforts for the College Area after-hours and on weekends.

SDSU continues to ask that any community member who becomes aware of a potential violation among students report the situation using the COVID-19 Incident Reporting Form.