Dear members of the CU Boulder community:
Last night, hundreds of unmasked students flooded the University Hill neighborhood as part of a large party. Reports and social media posts show some of those in attendance threw bottles and rocks at first responders and police officers, tipped over a car and damaged vehicles.
To the students who participated in the incident last night: you have embarrassed yourselves and the entire University of Colorado Boulder. Your actions violated university and community standards at every level. A basic condition for being part of CU Boulder is accountability to each other and to the community at all times. We have stated in clear terms that students must comply with community safety standards and public health orders and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic––and most of our students have done so. The pandemic is not over and violating public health orders puts our entire community at risk.
- We have consulted with our public health experts, and anyone who attended the Hill gathering is advised to quarantine immediately and complete a COVID-19 monitoring test on Thursday or Friday. Students will not be punished for completing a monitoring test. Monitoring testing information is not shared with Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution.
- We anticipate that faculty will continue to hold in-person classes this week, and we will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and communicate any operational changes as necessary. We do understand that some faculty and students may be concerned about exposure risks in the aftermath of the Hill incident. Faculty should consult with their chairs and deans regarding any temporary alterations in instructional plans. Students should communicate directly with their instructors. Staff should continue their normal work schedule, as originally planned.
- Any student who is found to have violated current health orders or who refused to disperse when asked by law enforcement is subject to disciplinary action by the university.
Even if we were not in a pandemic, an out of control party of this size and nature would have required a police response. Shamefully, some of our students engaged in acts of violence toward law enforcement and other officials who responded to the area. This is an affront to our campus and our community.
- Any student who is found responsible for engagement in acts of violence or other egregious acts connected to the events––including damage to property and not dispersing when ordered by police––will face serious sanctions up to expulsion from CU Boulder without the possibility of readmission, and may also face criminal and civil sanctions from the city and the county. Anyone with information to assist in the investigations now taking place can submit leads to Boulder Police Department.
Those who demonstrate through their conduct that they cannot meet our expectations are not welcome at our university.
To our University Hill neighbors, please know that we are sorry this occurred and will hold the responsible students accountable. To Boulder and university police and emergency personnel who responded, thank you.
To our students, faculty and staff who participated with our University Hill neighbors in the cleanup of the areas impacted by the incident last night, thank you for showing the best of our CU and Boulder communities working together.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic, let’s not endanger our ourselves and each other by taking unnecessary risks and engaging in selfish behaviors. Please continue to follow public health orders and act as responsible citizens. We need to be better than this and we are.
We will share regular updates this week on the progress of our investigations and the actions we are taking to hold those responsible for last night’s unacceptable behavior fully accountable.
Philip P. DiStefano