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'A lot is at stake here': Georgia College sees increase in COVID-19 after students hold parties, president says

The university's president urged students to stop going to parties and said they may be subject to disciplinary action

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Georgia College is seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, and in an email to students President Steve Dorman claims that spike is directly linked to off-campus parties and gatherings.

“This activity is totally unacceptable and needs to stop immediately,” Dorman said. “It endangers the safety of others and threatens to prevent the desire of most of you to remain together here at GC for the semester.”

Dorman stressed that the behavior could endanger health and safety on campus and asked the student body to stop going to off-campus parties.

“Once again, I appeal to you and firmly ask that you refrain from organizing or going to parties and other large gatherings where social distancing and mask wearing may be compromised,” he said.

Dorman says he met with the university’s student government president and student government chief justice and asked them to enforce a sector of the student code of conduct.

It states Georgia College can discipline a student in nonacademic matters.

He cited this excerpt of the code of conduct:

Georgia College may discipline a student in nonacademic matters. This normally involves matters which occur on the Georgia College campus or at Georgia College-sponsored events, but may be extended to off-campus matters which could reasonably be expected to impact the Georgia College community. 

Students are subject to disciplinary action for violating the following Code of Conduct: Conduct that constitutes a danger to the personal safety of other members of the university community.

Dorman says students who violate this code could face suspension from the university.

“A lot is at stake here,” Dorman said. “Your individual decisions will have a tremendous impact on our entire community. It’s up to you to keep us together.”