Salem State University students to face discipline for violating public health guidelines with large gathering

Several Salem State University students will face discipline for attending off-campus gatherings in violation of public health guidelines, authorities said.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Salem State University President John Keenan released a joint statement that said the two incidents occurred Friday night.

“In addition to violating rules regarding large gatherings, there was also conduct involved in both incidents that led to arrests,” the statement said. “In each case, the Salem Police Department and City officials are working closely with Salem State Police and university officials to identify as many responsible parties as possible and ensure they face the appropriate consequences, both on- and off-campus.”

Driscoll and Keenan said in the first incident, police broke up a gathering of over 50 people at an apartment on Becket Street and arrested one individual, who is not a Salem State student, on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The property owner also is going to be cited by Salem police for keeping a disorderly house and those who attended the gathering will be issued citations from Salem public health officials, the statement said.

“Any current Salem State students who are identified as having attended the gathering will also face additional disciplinary consequences from the university,” the statement said. “All individuals who attended this gathering, whether identified or not, are strongly encouraged to get a free COVID-19 test, either through SSU if they are a university student or through the City’s free “Stop the Spread” testing at Salem High School.”

Driscoll and Keenan said the second incident involved vandalism to the playground equipment at Pickman Park. A Salem State student was arrested and charged with burning personal property, vandalism, and destruction of property over $1,200. “The investigation and identification of other people present, as well as their involvement, is ongoing,” the statement said.

“Those responsible in both instances will be held accountable to the greatest extent possible under the law and under the university’s disciplinary policies,” the statement said. “We believe it is important that City and university officials work together to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our community.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

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