The UB Police department received 19 calls regarding COVID-19 violations last week, according to a redacted complaint summary obtained by The Spectrum Friday.
Between Thursday, Aug. 27 and Thursday, Sept. 3, the University Police responded to 16 self-described “COVID violations” and three related “noise complaints.” While some of the calls were found to be unsubstantiated, nearly all took place around midnight and many were reported near the Ellicott Complex.
Last Thursday, police received “numerous calls” regarding a group of approximately 50 people who were congregating outside the Richmond Quad in Ellicott Complex. According to a university statement, “most” of the students were wearing masks and “dispersed quietly without incident.”
In the statement, UB said that “students who don’t abide by these guidelines will be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including possible suspension from the university.”
Some of the calls received by UBPD were informational. In one, a caller asked for guidance on a UB policy. In another, the mother of a student “called with concerns about off campus fraternity parties.” Other calls dealt specifically with social distancing and mask issues.
On Thursday, UB reported that the “vast majority” of its 91 confirmed COVID cases are in the University Heights district, home to its social fraternities and sororities. UB said it’s urging these students to avoid house parties and reminding them of the potential consequences of noncompliance.
“We don’t currently have evidence that large off-campus parties are a cause of viral spread among off-campus students, but we believe there were smaller scale parties inside student residences in the Heights that likely have contributed to the cases,” a UB spokesperson said.
So far, UPD has not received any calls from the Buffalo Police to come to the scene of an off-campus party. But UB said it is working with BPD to ensure that students are complying with university policies.
“UB offices, including both the Office of Community Relations and University Police, are working with the Buffalo Police Department to address issues, including large parties, involving students living in off-campus housing in the University Heights neighborhood,” according to the statement.
Justin Weiss is the senior features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.