SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University (SU) says a large group of first-year students gathered on the SU Quad Wednesday night “selfishly jeopardized” their “chance at a residential college experience.”
That’s according to J. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation, who wrote a letter to students posted on the school’s news website.
Haynie believes those who gathered “may have done damage enough to shut down campus, including residence halls and in-person learning, before the academic semester even begins,” per the letter.
Haynie says the students who gathered knew “that it was wrong to do so” and they “knowingly ignored” the state’s public health law and the provisions of the Syracuse University “Stay Safe Pledge.”
“Even more selfish and unsettling is how the actions of those students willfully undercut the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly over the summer to set the conditions for the continuation of residential learning. Even more selfish and unsettling is how the actions of those students may prevent our seniors from claiming their final year of college on our residential campus,” per Haynie’s letter.
A full investigation of last night’s incident is underway, according to Haynie. The SU Department of Public Safety is reviewing security camera video from the Quad, and individuals that can be identified will be referred to the student-conduct process.
“All this said, I want you to understand right now and very clearly that we have one shot to make this happen. The world is watching, and they expect you to fail. Prove them wrong. Be better. Be adults. Think of someone other than yourself. And also, do not test the resolve of this university to take swift action to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus and Central New York community,” wrote Haynie.