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University of Tampa suspends students after large gathering at residence hall

The semester, which will be primarily in-person courses, begins Wednesday.
LOREN ELLIOTT  | Times
The University of Tampa suspended students prior to the start of the semester because of a large gathering on campus.
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times The University of Tampa suspended students prior to the start of the semester because of a large gathering on campus. [ Times (2015) ]
Published Aug. 24, 2020
Updated Aug. 24, 2020

The semester has yet to begin at the University of Tampa, but students have already been “interimly suspended” after throwing a “large gathering” at a residence hall.

Students moved back to campus last week and the semester, which will be primarily in-person courses, begins Wednesday.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Stephanie Russell Krebs sent a message to the university community saying there would be a “zero tolerance” policy for “risky student behavior.”

“I urge you to refrain from gathering in large groups, on-campus or off-campus where physical distancing cannot be met,” she wrote. “The stakes are high and the behavior of one impacts many. ...We will continue to move swiftly to remove those from the community who endanger others and do not adhere to our Spartan Shield Health and Safety plan.”

University spokesman Eric Cárdenas said due to “confidentiality and practicality,” the university does not wish to disclose the number of students involved in the gathering or the number suspended.

In June, University of Tampa students planning to live on campus were asked to sign an addendum to their housing contracts that stated they would assume the full balance of the contract in the event they had to leave their dorms early. Cárdenas said the university would attempt to help students if they were forced to leave due to circumstances beyond their control.

“Depending on the scope of any campus closure, while we cannot make any guarantees, we will consider all possible options to assist our campus community,” he wrote in an email. “For now, however, we will expect students to abide by the terms of the housing agreement and related policies (including the terms related to payments and financial responsibility).”