BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU Interim President Tom Galligan has announced that four student organizations are currently going through the conduct process, meaning they have been charged with violating the university’s code of conduct as it relates to the coronavirus.
In addition, three to four investigations are currently being conducted into allegations of more COVID-19 violations and two students are also in the conduct process.
The university passed along the information during a Zoom briefing one day after the 9News Investigators brought attention to a number of videos that appear to show wild off-campus parties with few masks and little social distancing.
Galligan acknowledged to WAFB’s Scottie Hunter that he had seen the videos during the call.
“We have seen the videos and they are very concerning,” Galligan said. “We’re going to investigate, communicate and as necessary, we’ll enforce.”
When asked whether he could identify the organizations involved, Galligan said he could not go into specifics.
“I can’t, but I think I can safely say it’s not exclusively Greek Life related,” said Galligan.
The interim president says students caught breaking the rules could face some serious consequences as the university works to get a handle on the outbreak.
”That could include a loss of privileges, community service, and all the way up to potentially expulsion,” Galligan added.
This comes just as LSU is weathering a surge of COVID-19 cases. The school is reporting 137 new infections as of Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 2), bringing the total case count to 366. At a press conference earlier in the week, Governor John Bel Edwards called those numbers concerning, but says it’s expected based on what’s happening across the state.
”It is not going to be possible to resume any activity when you have community spread of COVID the way we do and not have some addition transmission of the virus,” Edwards added.
As LSU wades through this new normal, the school’s leader says they’re watching the virus closely and tells WAFB they’re prepared to shut the campus down and return to virtual-only classes if necessary.
”We’re not going to enforce our way through this. We’re going to have to embrace it,” said Galligan. “I’m concerned and I’m monitoring and we’re looking at it very carefully, because if it keeps going up, we’re going to go remote.”
It’s a drastic step that could cost students and fans other activities down the road if they can’t get a handle on house parties, which increase the risk of coronavirus spread.
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WAFB’s Scottie Hunter will have a full report on this story on 9News at 10.
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