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ABC 17 News Investigates

More than 840 COVID-19 violations reported this fall at University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

University of Missouri officials say 841 reports have been forwarded to the student accountability office for COVID-19 violations since the fall semester.

Of those, 756 happened on campus in residence halls and 85 happened off-campus.

The on-campus claims ranged anywhere from students not wearing masks to students sneaking other people into halls who weren't supposed to be there.

University spokesman Christian Basi said for most of the on-campus violations the discipline was more about warnings and education. In more extreme cases, strict disciplinary action was taken.

MU expelled two students in September for violating COVID-19 policies. MU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Stackman said in an email that "parties and other blatant violations of the safety guidelines occurred." Basi said the two students who faced consequences were knowledgeable and deliberate about what they were doing and were directly putting others at risk.

"Where we have seen some significant problems, we have taken some very serious actions. We made sure the campus understands that we are taking this extremely seriously," Basi said. "We have not hesitated to use our most extreme measures when they have been warranted."

The off-campus violations ranged anywhere from people not wearing masks to having parties or large gatherings.

Through a records request, ABC 17 News found five fraternities received disciplinary probation until fall 2021, two sororities were under investigation and two other fraternities were released from temporary suspension.

Beta Theta Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Psi and Pi Kappa Alpha were all placed on disciplinary probation.

ABC 17 News contacted several of the fraternities on disciplinary probation for a comment but most of them did not respond or didn't want to comment.

Fifty-eight Greek organizations are represented on the MU campus. Basi said early on in the semester, leaders within the Greek organizations stepped forward with guidelines and rules before the university communicated anything with the campus.

Even though five fraternities were found responsible for violating COVID-19 policies, Basi said most organizations followed the rules. He believes the disciplinary action that was taken early on set a tone for the rest of the semester.

"It was unfortunate, we don't ever want to do that," Basi said. "It's not an action we wanted to take. Once we made that decision, and the fact that we decided to publicize to the campus ... that sent the message to the campus that we meant what we said."

Most violations happened early in the semester.

Scott Clardy, the assistant director of Boone County's health department, said "large gatherings and parties certainly increased the risk of virus transmission" at MU.

"There were other opportunities for virus transmission," Clardy said. "In the end, virus transmission occurred through a variety of circumstances. "

MU peaked at 683 active cases on campus on Sept. 5. MU reported 127 active cases Wednesday.

Columbia / Coronavirus / News / Top Stories / University of Missouri

Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday morning anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. “We made sure the campus understands that we are taking this extremely seriously,”
    Even though basic math will tell you COVID is no more dangerous than ordinary influenza? And you are part of an educational system? No wonder colleges are struggling.

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