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University at Albany investigating 'coronavirus-themed' party

University at Albany investigating 'coronavirus-themed' party

WHECTV
Updated: February 20, 2020 07:26 PM
Created: February 20, 2020 06:21 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WHEC) — The state University at Albany is investigating whether an off-campus coronavirus-themed party violated the college's student code of conduct, the university confirmed Thursday.
    
Asian American Alliance, a university student organization, condemned the party hosted by students last weekend, saying it was insensitive and racist. A statement on the alliance's Instagram account said the virus “has led to not only mass stereotyping of Asian people, but also hundreds of deaths across the world."

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If you would like to help bring justice, please email the Dean of Students (dos@albany.edu) & the Vice President of student affairs (Mike Christakis) to let them know that this isn’t okay with us! UAlbany does not stand for this kind of racism ???? #EndStereotypes #inclusivity #NoToHate

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All but about 1,000 of more than 75,000 reported cases of the disease called COVID-19 have been recorded in China. In all, more than 2,000 people have died.

Video of the party was briefly posted on the Barstool Albany Instagram account Sunday night. WGY News Radio said the video showed a bucket of iced Corona beers and a person wearing a surgical mask with the caption, “Corona virus isn't gonna stop anyone from partying.” 

“The theme of this party was distasteful and hurtful and is not representative of UAlbany or its nearly 18,000 students,” university officials said in a statement. “Any allegations of conduct violations will be investigated and addressed through the University's disciplinary process."

The location of the party and the students involved were not identified.

The university says the party was not sanctioned by University at Albany.

In a statement provided to News10NBC, the university said it’s investigating the incident:

“We are aware of a coronavirus-themed party that was recently held off-campus and not sanctioned by the University at Albany.
The theme of this party was distasteful and hurtful and is not representative of UAlbany or its nearly 18,000 students. We are proud to host students, faculty and staff from all over the world. As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, it is critically important that we treat all people with dignity and respect.

All students are held accountable to the University’s Student Code of Conduct, both on and off campus. Any allegations of conduct violations will be investigated and addressed through the University’s disciplinary process.”

The university also sent the following email to students:

Great Dane:

Since concerns about the coronavirus first began, the University at Albany has been closely monitoring the situation with guidance from our local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our Student Health Services team has shared guidance with the campus community through campus-wide emails and online resources available here. 

In past communications, we have also advised the campus community to exercise caution regarding coronavirus-related statements on social media, primarily due to concerns over false confirmations of the disease. What we did not anticipate, however, was an online video depicting insensitive and inappropriate behavior by some members of our student body who hosted a coronavirus-themed party.

As a diverse community with students, faculty and staff from all over the world, it is important that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. We should strive to listen, support and advocate for communities hardest hit by the coronavirus. 
If you or anyone you know here has questions or concerns about discriminatory behavior, please contact the University Police Department at 518-442-3131 or the Office of Equity and Compliance at 518-442-3800. 

I appreciate your efforts in helping make our campus a welcoming and inclusive space for all members of our community.

Sincerely, 
Clarence McNeill
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs 
& Dean of Students


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