Students, officials discuss AU limits on gatherings of 50+ people

Students, officials discuss AU limits on gatherings of 50+ people

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Auburn University is tightening up on more rules across campus and instituting a new rule prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.

“It’s a preventative approach and it’s a bit more proactive,” said Dr. Bobby Woodard, the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs. “We wanted students to still congregate because they need that for mental health reasons. At the same time, we wanted to reduce the number of crowds.”

The news came Tuesday in an email from the university. Several students said hey’re not bothered by the new restriction.

“There’s no reason you should be in a crowd that big at this time,” said student Donovan Evins. “I’m really hoping people do it because this is my first year and I don’t want to be sent home. "

Anna Rose Bradley, another student, agreed.

“I think it’s a good idea because there are several schools that have had to close down because students are gathering,” she said. “So, it’s good because it means we get to stay in school longer.”

Officials said the rule also applies to previously approved events or gatherings.

Groups like the Student Government Association or International Groups might have to change some plans for events or speakers.

“They can still have the speaker, but knowing only 50 people can attend. And they can do the rest virtually,” Woodard said.

Auburn University leaders emphasized that the pandemic is a situation where everyone’s actions count. They said if they’re going to continue with in-person classes, everyone has to be dedicated, on and off campus.

“Think about something bigger than just you,” Woodard said. “You want to stay on campus. You want to stay in the city of Auburn. We know that. We do too. This is a proactive measure. We’re not locking campus down. We’re thinking about your mental health and academic success.”

According to officials at Auburn, there are exceptions to the rule, including sporting events and academic classes. They also want to continue stressing the need for physical social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large gatherings.

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