CMU responds to alleged ‘COVID dorm’ party

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 11:11 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WJRT) - It’s move-in day at Central Michigan University and there’s already a coronavirus controversy: a video claiming to be from inside of a campus dorm for students being isolated for the virus.

According to that video, there were a number of residents getting ready for a party.

“They heard people saying, ‘Oh, let’s go party and stuff like that so they started recording.‘”

When Colm Klopcic’s friend – who wanted to remain anonymous – sent him the video in question, the CMU junior knew immediately he had to take it further.

“People [were] shocked and a lot of people were saying they were scared to come back to school in the fall,” Klopcic said.

According to the original Twitter post, the video gives a look inside a CMU residence hall dedicated to students under isolation or quarantine for COVID-19. Its author claims it listens-in on four residents apparently getting ready for a party.

“Almost every reply I’ve gotten was kind of being like, really, CMU,” Klopcic said.

In a Thursday response, CMU defended the safety precautions it has in place, yet vowed to take another look in the interest of student safety.

“If a student leaves, the university will fully investigate whether or not they have violated the student code of conduct. This incident has helped us identify some issues we’re working quickly to resolve,” he university said in a statement.

Trent DeGayner is a freshman.

“Be safe, don’t be stupid,” he said.. “I kind of took that as, well, I’m not going to go out and do all that stuff.”

DeGayner’s first afternoon on campus came with the usual hustle and bustle of moving day and the unusual realities of life in the midst of a global pandemic. Though, he’s comforted by what he’s seen so far.

“As a community and as a whole, everyone just wants to work together and remind each other,” DeGayner said.

Megan Minton and Natalie Conklin are both sophomores who said that keeping safe comes down to personal responsibility and that some of their peers, may be missing the big picture.

“They have this expectation of college and they don’t necessarily know the right way to handle it,” Conklin said. “They feel now they’re at college, they can do whatever they want.”

A thought Colm echoes. Surprised by the response he’s gotten, the junior hopes the episode continues an important conversation.

“I’m hoping that this changes some stuff and it sounds like it has,” said Klopcic. “Hopefully we just see better from everyone.”

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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