ECU, Greenville police cracking down on large off-campus parties during pandemic


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Students are back on campus and they are bringing the parties with them.

ECU and Greenville police are cracking down on large gatherings off-campus.

It’s called the Responsible Behavior Initiative. The goal is to reduce the number of large off-campus gatherings, therefore, slowing the spread of COVID-19.

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Last weekend, ECU and Greenville police shut down 20 parties of 25 people or more. They say the largest had 400 attendees.

Some students are going to parties, and others are avoiding them.

“You’re either here to celebrate your college experience and going out and not really worrying about the pandemic, or you’re just one of those people that want to stay away from all of that,” said Grace Kenworthy, ECU senior.

Captain Chris Sutton with ECU police says he understands where students are coming from.

“College students have really lost almost every social interaction option that they’ve ever had at their disposal,” said Sutton. “They can’t go to movies. There’s no sporting events for them to attend. All of the bars and clubs and uptown areas are closed. They can’t even go workout.”

Sutton says he wants students to have social gatherings, but he wants them to do it safely.

“We know that the students are going to continue to gather,” he said. “That’s something they need. That’s part of the reason any student goes to any college campus. It’s not just about the academics. It’s about that social growth. So we’re trying to help them do so responsibly and to ensure that they stay on campus through the semester.”

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