Indiana University says any students at pontoon boat party could face sanctions

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WABC logo
Monday, September 7, 2020
Indiana University says it will sanction any students at boat party
Dozens of young people were seen partying on three rental pontoon boats tied together near the Indiana University campus.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University says any students who were partying on a lake near Bloomington over Labor Day Weekend could face sanctions for not following the school's COVID-19 guidelines.

As Labor Day Weekend kicked off, photos and video posted to social media showed dozens of young people packed tightly together on three rental pontoon boats tied together on Lake Monroe, with a fourth nearby.

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As the coronavirus pandemic and Memorial Day Weekend collide, viral videos from across the country are showing social distancing "offenders" celebrating the holiday weekend.

Health officials are worried social gatherings over the holiday weekend could lead to a spike in new COVID-19 cases, such as those seen after 4th of July and Memorial Day.

The Lake Monroe Boat Rental said in a statement posted to their Facebook page that staff warned the groups of college-aged renters they were not allowed to meet with or tie up to other boats on the water.

After a worker checked on the groups midway through the day and saw the boats tied together, the company said they "acted immediately within the scope of our abilities."

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The individuals forfeited their deposits and had their remaining 2020 reservations cancelled and refunded, the company said.

A spokesperson for Indiana University said they are aware of the situation and there will be potential sanctions against students who violate COVID health directives, including unsafe large gatherings off campus.

According to the university's student COVID policy, that could mean suspensions or expulsion.