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FAMU enacts student housing curfew amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 8:24 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 20:24:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University announced a curfew for students living on-campus beginning at 12 a.m. Saturday as part of the university’s COVID-19 policies.

FAMU says the campus-wide curfew is designed to deter large after-hours student gatherings that can cause clusters of COVID-19 cases.

“We are aware of large impromptu and planned gatherings on and off-campus by FAMU students who are using social media to spread the intent to blatantly violate Leon County’s mandate on large gatherings and FAMU's COVID-19 conduct enforcement procedures,” said Bomani Spell, the Dean of Students in a letter to students.

The curfew is effective on Saturday until further notice and comes as more than 1,000 students have moved into residence halls in anticipation of the start of fall semester classes.

University officials say failure to adhere to the COVID-19 enforcement procedures would result in immediate suspension from university housing, as well as the possibility of disciplinary probation, suspension, and or expulsion from the school.

According to the rules, students must be in their assigned residence hall from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on all weekdays, Monday-Thursday.

Weekends, Friday through Sunday, the curfew is active from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.

FAMU says in the event of extenuating circumstances, students must alert their respective resident hall director immediately if they need to leave during curfew hours.

University officials insist the curfew is to prevent large gatherings or parties on campus or in the Tallahassee community and not to restrict student movement.

“The entire FAMU community is extremely concerned by the national trend of students not adhering to mask/social distancing policies enacted by their respective institutions and local government mandates, including here at FAMU,” Spell said.

The University requires face coverings in all buildings; gatherings of more than 10 individuals are prohibited; gatherings of 10 individuals or fewer must be in a space that allows for the physical distancing of six feet or more.

Spell warned that the risks of being careless are grave, saying an increased spike in COVID-19 cases would cause FAMU to reconsider operational procedures and reopening plans for the remainder of the semester.