Party fowl

Signs on the University of Delaware campus remind students to abide by the city’s strict limits on private gatherings.

The University of Delaware has sanctioned 19 members of the swimming and diving team for attending a large party that violated Newark’s gathering limit.

The athletes were suspended from all athletic-related events.

“We have spoken to our student-athletes at length about their responsibility of being back on campus. The protocols and guidelines put into place are ones that must be followed for us to provide a safe environment for not only the University, but our community as well.” Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak said in a prepared statement. “While we have been fortunate with the behavior from a majority of our student-athletes in following the guidelines and social pledge. we cannot let up, we must stay focused and disciplined in all of our choices.”

The suspensions stem from a Sept. 26 party at an off-campus residence. The party violated the city’s ordinance as well as UD’s student-athlete social pledge.

The team members who attended the party were all placed into quarantine and have tested negative for COVID-19.

Under Newark’s social gathering ordinance, which was passed in August in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, parties and other gatherings at private residences are limited to 12 people indoors or 20 people outdoors. The limit includes residents of the property but excludes kids 16 and younger, a concession aimed at limiting the burden on families.

Party guests, as well as the hosts of the party, can be cited under the law. If convicted, violators will be fined $100 to $500 and be ordered to complete up to 20 hours of community service. For a second offense, the penalty increases to $500 to $1,000 and up to 32 hours of community service.

Students who are cited are referred to the university’s office of student conduct for additional sanctions. Under UD policy, students charged with hosting a party that violates the law will immediately receive a temporary suspension until the case is adjudicated. Those found guilty through the university judicial system will receive a full suspension and could be expelled.

Any student found guilty of attending a large party will also face UD sanctions, likely a deferred suspension, which is essentially probation.

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