ASU has placed 116 students and 18 student clubs or organizations on interim suspension for alleged coronavirus-related violations of the Student Code of Conduct since Aug. 1, according to information provided by a University spokesperson.
Interim actions — which include interim suspensions, removal from University Housing or exclusions from one or more classes — are not disciplinary but are intended to be educational and "affirm university standards and encourage students to make better choices in the future," according to the Student Code of Conduct Procedures.
Officials said the University has utilized the Student Code of Conduct to enforce COVID-19 public health guidelines off campus for the fall semester.
According to section F-17 of the code, "off-campus conduct that a reasonable person would believe may present a risk or danger to the health, safety or security of the board or university community or to the safety or security of the board or university property" falls under prohibited conduct by the University.
Just 13 students and two clubs or organizations are still on interim action, the spokesperson said in an email.
Students or organizations placed on interim action have the opportunity to appear before the dean of students or a designee five business days after the "effective date of the interim action," according to the Students Services Manual.
Vice President of Student Services Joanne Vogel added context to the University's disciplinary actions toward students at a Undergraduate Student Government student forum Friday.
Vogel said if students are repeat offenders, "that will ramp up the sanction attached."
"We try to approach this educationally at first and understand why someone" may have failed "to abide by our expectations," she said.
If necessary, punishments can then proceed to suspension, or students will need to take their classes solely though ASU Sync, Vogel added.
"If you don't want to follow the 'Community of Care' then you don't care about anybody in the community — you only care about yourself," ASU President Michael Crow said at the forum. "And so if you only care about yourself, then you should go somewhere where you're by yourself."
At the beginning of the semester, six interim suspensions had been issued to students for COVID-related violations by Sept. 9, according to a University spokesperson. Over 100 more have been issued since.
"Individuals or groups choosing to ignore the rules not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of others and will be subject to a range of appropriate disciplinary action," another University spokesperson said in a statement before the semester began.
Social gatherings that break the University's health guidelines would not be allowed on-campus — and "if the University is made aware of social gatherings taking place off-campus purposefully designed to disregard public health protocols, the university will take action."
Students on campus are subject to a wider variety of policies that fall under prohibited conduct by the University, such as ASU's dry-campus policy.
Over Halloween weekend, Tempe Police Department issued 20 party citations, 12 of which were confirmed to be ASU student-related, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, a Tempe police spokesperson said in an email. This past weekend only six were issued, but the spokesperson declined to say how many were attributed to ASU students.
Since the first University COVID-19 update this month on Nov. 2 following Halloween, active cases of the coronavirus among the student body have more than doubled. Across the country and state of Arizona, cases have begun to spike.
There were 442 active COVID-19 cases within the ASU community as of Thursday.
Wyatt Myskow is the project manager at The State Press, where he oversees enterprise stories for the publication. He also works at The Arizona Republic, where he covers the cities of Peoria and Surprise.