Police in the small college town of Elon report that in the last month they have have cited 17 Elon University students for violations of the state stay-at-home order and the town’s own state of emergency declaration, according to the school’s Elon New Network.
From the story:
A gathering of five students on April 14 at an off-campus house resulted in three citations for violating the state non-essential travel order and for delaying an investigation, when students fled from officers informing them of the social distancing policies according to police reports.
Another incident on March 28 resulted in 14 students and one visitor being cited during an off-campus party for violating the town ordinance prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.
The town ordinance, which prohibits residents from social gatherings above 10 people, was put into effect March 20, and the state order that prohibits non-essential travel outside one’s home was put into effect March 30.
The students involved in both incidents declined to comment.
“Safety is paramount. We are following the advice of people who are a lot smarter about this than we are,” Richard Rodener, the town manager of Elon said.
Roedner stressed the purpose of the policies stemmed from providing residents with education about best practices like wearing gloves, masks and avoiding unnecessary contact with others during the pandemic.
Elon students have been the only residents in the town cited for violating the state and local ordinances put in place due to the coronavirus, besides the one non-student who was with the first 14 cited.
Those involved were cited with class two misdemeanors, which carry a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. According to Associate Vice President of Student Life Jana Lynn Patterson, reports will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct, and students could face disciplinary measures from the university including fines and suspension, according to the Elon University Student Handbook.
The town of Elon’s population is only about 12,000 but the university has about 7,000 students drawn from 48 states and the District of Columbia as well as International students from 47 nations.