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Coronavirus US: NYU students ignore warnings for night of partying


Crowds of New York University students descended on Washington Square Park for an evening filled with drinking, partying and a flagrant disregard for social distancing protocol on Saturday night.

The school, which only resumed classes on Wednesday, announced that 20 students have since been suspended for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines, with more suspensions likely as an investigation continues.

Video from the park, a popular NYU hangout, shows dozens of students gathered around its world famous fountain – some wearing masks and a concerning number of people not – as they dance shoulder-to-shoulder with one another.

The unruly dance party appeared to be an pre-planned event, with two DJs blasting thumping music out long into the evening.

Police cars and officers appeared to be stationed outside the park seemingly on stand-by, however they didn’t seem to be enforcing any crowd control measures.

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Crowds of New York University students descended on Washington Square Park for an evening filled with drinking, partying and a flagrant disregard for social distancing protocol on Saturday night

Crowds of New York University students descended on Washington Square Park for an evening filled with drinking, partying and a flagrant disregard for social distancing protocol on Saturday night

Video from the park, a popular NYU hangout, shows dozens of students gathered around its world famous fountain

Video from the park, a popular NYU hangout, shows dozens of students gathered around its world famous fountain

Some were wearing masks and a concerning number of other people were not, as they danced shoulder-to-shoulder in a large crowd

Masked-up revellers dance on Saturday night

Some were wearing masks and a concerning number of other people were not, as they danced shoulder-to-shoulder in a large crowd

Police cars and officers appeared to be stationed outside the park seemingly on stand-by, however they didn¿t seem to be enforcing any crowd control

Police cars and officers appeared to be stationed outside the park seemingly on stand-by, however they didn’t seem to be enforcing any crowd control

Washington Square Park is situated just steps away from NYU. It’s surrounded by the university’s dorms and academic buildings.

‘We have received reports and videos of large crowds of young people gathering in Washington Square Park last night, with some people not wearing masks or distancing,’ Marc Wais, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs wrote in a Sunday night statement.

‘We are investigating the circumstances from last night and any students who have violated our expectations will be subject to disciplinary action,’ he continued.

Wais also issued a warning urging students to maintain a social distance when out in public, or again risk disciplinary measures.

NYU tweeted on Saturday that more than 20 students had been suspended for breaking the school¿s new coronavirus policies

NYU tweeted on Saturday that more than 20 students had been suspended for breaking the school’s new coronavirus policies

‘Please wear a mask and physically distance whenever you are in public places, including Washington Square Park, and leave the area if conditions become unsafe.

‘These are the kinds of incidents that most concern us,’ Wais continued, saying the dance party could prove to be a ‘superspreader’ of COVID-19, which could result in dozens of people going on to infect many others, forcing campuses to shut down.

‘I don’t believe anyone wants to be responsible for that — to ruin all the effort that thousands of students put into quarantining, to undo the work that’s been done to enhance safety, or to frustrate the wishes of the thousands who want in-person classes,’ he said.

NYU tweeted on Saturday that more than 20 students had been suspended for breaking the school’s new coronavirus policies, as colleges across the county grapple to keep young adults from spreading COVID-19.

The school provided no further detail about the suspensions, but the announcement comes less than a week after in-person classes resumed on campus.

‘Please don’t be the next. Avoid parties and bars,’ the school said. ‘Wear a mask. Keep your distance.’

The unruly dance party appeared to be an pre-planned event, with two DJs blasting thumping music out long into the evening

The unruly dance party appeared to be an pre-planned event, with two DJs blasting thumping music out long into the evening

Washington Square Park is situated just steps away from NYU. It¿s surrounded by the university¿s dorms and academic buildings

Washington Square Park is situated just steps away from NYU. It’s surrounded by the university’s dorms and academic buildings

One maskless reveller is seen dancing in the middle of a circle as a mixture of maskless and mask-wearing bystanders watch on

One maskless reveller is seen dancing in the middle of a circle as a mixture of maskless and mask-wearing bystanders watch on

More students are likely to be suspended as the school continues its investigation

More students are likely to be suspended as the school continues its investigation

Video from the scene show it wasn¿t only students gathered in the park, other New Yorkers joined the Labor Day weekend celebrations too, with couples seen ballroom dancing

Video from the scene show it wasn’t only students gathered in the park, other New Yorkers joined the Labor Day weekend celebrations too, with couples seen ballroom dancing

one man was even seen break-dancing on a panel of cardboard as a crowd of bystanders cheered him on

one man was even seen break-dancing on a panel of cardboard as a crowd of bystanders cheered him on

Video from the scene shows it wasn’t only students gathered in the park, other New Yorkers joined the Labor Day weekend celebrations too, with couples seen ballroom dancing and one man even break-dancing on a panel of cardboard.

While those present appeared to enjoy the sense of normalcy, at whatever cost, the party’s existence hasn’t gone down well with other New Yorkers online.

‘Seeing this large gathering of people at Washington Square Park has my blood BOILING! you know how long it took for my city to recover just for these selfish a** kids to do this? there were rotten bodies PILING up in trucks but you can’t simply…not hang out in large groups?!!,’ tweeted one angry resident.

Others blamed NYU itself for the gathering, with Camryn Garrett writing, ‘none of this gathering would be happening if they’d just kept everyone at home.

‘If I had any doubt that the university cares more about money than students, the way they’ve handled Covid has nailed that coffin shut,’ she added.

One NYU student accused the school of failing to issue a ‘specific set of rules on exactly what is allowed because if we follow them and covid still spreads it will look like their fault. so they give us the vaguest possible guidelines so that no matter what we do they can point the finger at us when things go south.

‘Vague language like ‘avoid gatherings’ and a daily questionnaire that relies on the honor system isn’t meant to keep us safe, it’s meant to reduce liability for them. that’s their priority,’ she said.

NYU has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for further comment.

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