What to Know
- A spokesperson for Villanova University said a few hundred students gathered in and around a tent that was meant to be used as an outdoor classroom.
- The school’s public safety officers responded to the gathering and the crowd quickly dispersed, according to the spokesperson. Witnesses said the crowd was there for about two hours and some students weren't wearing masks.
- The school's president wrote an email to students reminding them to follow safety guidelines.
Videos of a large gathering of Villanova students, some not wearing masks, prompted safety concerns for the university amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as a message from the school's president.
Freshmen students, including Tallulah Laska and Claire Humphrey, arrived at the school on Monday. Laska and Humphrey told NBC10 they were taking a math test in their dorm Wednesday when they spotted a big crowd of students.
“It was like right in front of our window,” Laska said.
A spokesperson for the school said a few hundred students gathered in and around a tent that was meant to be used as an outdoor classroom. The school’s public safety officers responded to the gathering and the crowd quickly dispersed, according to the spokesperson. Laska and Humphrey said the crowd was there for about two hours.
“I feel like it’s inevitable at any college campus because you have all these people coming together after being away for so long,” Humphrey said. “But I think if you want to stay on campus, you need to be cautious and take precautions.”
Villanova’s president sent an email to students Thursday morning to remind them of their community commitment and shared responsibility to be considerate of others and comply with health and safety requirements.
Several outdoor tents are scattered throughout the campus. The school’s guidelines state that they can be used for informal gatherings as long as there is social distancing and face coverings are worn at all times.
In the videos that surfaced on social media, some students are not wearing masks, though it’s unknown if those without face coverings have conditions that prevented them from wearing one.
Students were tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus. However, there’s still a desire for caution.
“Guys, just wear your mask,” Laska said. “There’s no point in doing that again. Because I think people are starting to take it more seriously now.”