President Eric Barron responded to the Penn State community on Thursday regarding the crowds of freshmen seen outside of East Halls Wednesday night.

“Last night’s behavior is unacceptable,” Barron said in a statement. “I ask students flaunting the University’s health and safety expectations a simple question: Do you want to be the person responsible for sending everyone home?”

Many of the students present at the gathering last night were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing, which violates the university’s requirements as well as the State College Borough Council ordinance that requires masks limits social gatherings to 10 people in the community.

Crowds dispersed last night after Penn State intervened, Barron said.

Barron reminded students of the consequences of not complying with the rules in his statement to the community.

“We have said from the beginning health and safety is our priority, and if the University needs to pivot to fully remote instruction we will,” Barron said. “It’s important all students understand that the consequences for violations include possible expulsion.”

Barron said that in addition to the launch of the ‘Mask Up or Pack Up’ campaign, additional flyers will be posted in residence halls with the question he posed to students above.

Barron ended the statement by expressing how “impressed” by the number of students and families on campus and downtown that have been wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“But make no mistake, it only takes a few to ruin it for the many, as we have seen at other universities across the country,” Barron said in a statement. “This is our community. It’s our responsibility.”

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