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August 14, 2020

Villanova University threatens to send students home after large gathering

Hundreds of freshmen met near an outdoor tent earlier this week

Education Villanova University
villanova COVID-19 protocols Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Villanova University President Peter M. Donohue is threatening to send home any student that flouts COVID-19 protocols after hundreds of students gathered on campus earlier this week.

Hundreds of Villanova University students gathered together on campus Wednesday night, prompting a stern response from President Peter M. Donohue.

The social gathering took place on the second night of the university's freshman orientation near a tent intended to be used as an outdoor classroom, a Villanova spokesperson told NBC10. Videos showed the students failed to practice social distancing guidelines. Many were not wearing masks. 

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Villanova student Isabella Sanchez Castañeda posted one of the Twitter videos, writing "This is the class of 2024 on their second day of orientation. What do we expect from the rest of the school year?"

Donohue sent a message to students Thursday morning, stressing the importance of following the university's COVID-19 protocols. He threatened punishment for anyone who failed to abide by them. 

"Let me be perfectly clear, if we don’t do these things, YOU WILL BE SENT HOME and more importantly, our community members’ health will be at risk," Donohue wrote. "We all need to adapt NOW to this new normal and way of doing things — for our good and the good of others."

The message, titled "Community First: IT'S UP TO YOU," reiterated that students must wear masks at all times, stay home from class when sick, and practice social distancing.

Villanova is hosting in-person classes this fall. Social gatherings are permitted so long as they do not exceed size limitations and students adhere to the university's COVID-19 guidelines. 

The university also is offering on-campus housing, but students are warned to keep dorm gatherings within limits based on room size. A complete list of campus housing guidelines can be viewed here

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