FARGO — A North Dakota State University leader warned graduate students who continue to live on campus to not gather for large parties amid the coronavirus pandemic.
NDSU Graduate School Dean Maria-Claudia Tomany sent an email on Tuesday, April 7, to graduate students who still live in dorms. She said she received information that “remaining students in student housing are socializing with each other and hosting cookouts and birthday parties in which large numbers of friends are participating.”
“Please take responsibility for yourselves, your children and friends, the staff and faculty you interact with, and members of the public, all of whom you might infect,” Tomany said. “I know this is a very difficult time full of uncertainty and worry. Please find ways to support and comfort each other through it that don’t entail the danger of disease and death.”
The email comes just days after NDSU confirmed Thursday, April 2, one of its own had a presumptive case of coronavirus. Most students have left campus after the school switched to online education, though about 230 students were still living in residence halls as of Thursday, the school said.
NDSU has not issued any violation citations for group gatherings and isn’t aware of issues with parties, spokeswoman Brynn Rawlings said via email.
“We continue to urge everyone in our community to take social distancing and hygiene guidelines very seriously,” she said in a statement.
Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College in Moorhead both have about 100 students still living on campus, the schools said.
MSUM officials have heard of some small groups congregating in public areas, but the school is addressing that by moving furniture to meet social distancing guidelines, Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Jensen said via email.
“That said, each communication that goes out to students and employees includes reminders about social distancing and CDC recommendations for staying healthy,” she said.
Concordia has not had any reports of students congregating for large social gatherings, said spokeswoman Amy Kelly.
“We have been sending frequent reminders about the importance of social distancing because it is key to slowing the virus spread,” she said.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead does not have on-campus housing.