SUNY Plattsburgh will be able to expel students for violating COVID-19 measures

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On August 26 — just two days after classes began — SUNY Plattsburgh President Dr. Alex Enyedi suspended 43 students until further notice. They’d reportedly been partying the previous Friday at a closed beach without physically distancing and — in most cases — without wearing masks, either.

The suspended students still can’t be on campus for any reason — not even to attend classes in person. Their punishment is allowed under SUNY Plattsburgh’s COVID-19 conduct code.

It’s also in keeping with penalties for all SUNY schools, laid out in a Friday afternoon email from SUNY Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras. However, the system-wide penalties won’t end with suspensions; they’ll give SUNY Plattsburgh and the other SUNY and CUNY schools a more severe option.

If an on-campus investigation finds students guilty of violating coronavirus protocols, they can be expelled without a refund of tuition, room, board and fees. The new penalties take effect on October 1 and will remain in place for the duration of the pandemic.

No one from SUNY Plattsburgh’s administration was available for an interview late Friday, but Gerianne Wright Downs, assistant director of communications for Dr. Enyedi’s office, replied via email. She wrote, in part:

“…we’ll be meshing the SUNY-wide rules outlined today with our existing policies that we will be sharing with students next week.”

Local 22 & Local 44 News also reached out more than once Friday afternoon to Dr. Malatras’s office at SUNY Plaza in Albany. No one replied.

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