Students sit on the quad wearing masks during the first week of school

Students sit on the quad wearing masks during the first week of school. UNR President Marc Johnson sent a memo to students urging them not to partake in partying to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In a memo sent to students by the University of Nevada, Reno’s President Marc Johnson on Thursday, Sept. 3, students were told disciplinary action would take place if found to have engaged in off-campus parties.

In the memo, Johnson said students can face suspension and expulsion for violation of COVID-19 guidelines. Johnson cites the Student Code of Conduct, which says the university can impose disciplinary action if the actions “adversely and directly affects the health, safety, or property of the University community.”

“Large gatherings without proper health protocols, as numerous examples at other college campuses have demonstrated over the past several weeks, have led to spikes in the rate of infection on college campuses,” Johnson said in the memo. “These spikes can adversely affect the health of dozens of individuals. They also put the academic calendar at risk. This is behavior that under the current circumstances cannot, and will not, be tolerated by the University.”

Additionally Johnson said, students are required to follow state and local guidelines for social distancing. 

“Let me be clear: Students should not engage in off-campus behavior that violates the Code and adversely and directly affects our community,” Johnson said. “If they do, they face sanction from the University. With the Labor Day weekend looming, we ask that all of our people – students, faculty and staff – think in terms of maintaining contact only with people you know. These are individuals you know are practicing all of the required public health protocols. If they are not, avoid them.”

In an executive order placed by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak in late-May, no more than 50 individuals are allowed to gather.

The university published a form where students are encouraged to report individuals who are violated COVID-19 guidelines. 

The forms ask for the day the incident occured, the name of the individual(s) and to identify witnesses. Students reporting are also required to identify the type of violation. 

Violations include:

  • Indoor gathering of more than 25 individuals 
  • Outdoor gatherings of more than 50 individuals 
  • Individuals not following social distancing
  • Individuals not wearing face covering  

The President of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Dom Hall later tweeted out the link. 

“Some students have asked me where to report individuals violating COVID-19 guidelines, so here is the anonymous form to report that behavior…,” Halls tweet read. 

Additionally, the university is encouraging students to download the “COVID Trace” app. The app will inform students if they come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and will inform the user of next steps and best practices. 

Andrew Mendez can be reached at andrewmendez@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @AMendez2000.