A large off-campus party with dozens of SUNY Cortland students was busted by police over the weekend, and now the party-throwers and party-goers could face some serious consequences.

SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum said those who hosted the gathering have been charged by police, and put on interim suspension by the school. Students identified at the party will face disciplinary action that could result in dismissal or suspension, he said.

In a letter to students, Bitterbaum also wrote:

The party was held just hours after I reached out to give you an update on the rising number of COVID-19 cases at SUNY Cortland. The selfishness and lack of judgement illustrated by Saturday’s party is appalling.

The college president added that given the widespread presence of the virus in their community, it's likely those students were exposed and are now unintentionally spreading it to others.

SUNY Cortland canceled all in-person learning last semester in early October because of a high number of cases on campus.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras issued a statement on the situation at SUNY Cortland on Monday, saying he's received reports on large parties from Cortland Police in recent weeks, with at least one have 100 people jammed into one house.

Malatras called it reckless and unacceptable, then said if the actions of a few aren't quickly reversed, SUNY Cortland's Spring 2021 semester could could also end early:

If the actions of a small minority of students aren’t reversed immediately, the college will be put on a path toward a similar fate for the spring semester.

Malatras also noted SUNY Cortland's COVID-19 positivity rate was 1.69% - relatively low, but still the highest among SUNY schools in the central New York region. He's requested twice per week testing of all students on campus for at least the next two weeks.


Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:


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