Parking lot gatherings at UAPB causing safety concerns on campus

Local News

PINE BLUFF, Ark.- Videos of parking lot parties at UAPB are circulating social media, causing some concern about safety on campus.

The University said gatherings are bound to happen at any University around the country, regardless of COVID-19.

“COVID is now the new normal.,” said Ronald Pugh, Junior at UAPB.

Students on the UAPB campus are moving in by day, but at night many are gathering in parking lots.

In the cell phone video, you can see dozens of people standing close together with few masks insight.

“The no mask part outside, yes I do see a concern, but it’s not a major concern on my part,” said Pugh.

Ronald Pugh is a junior at UAPB and a residential assistant. He says students are just eager to be back together after quarantine.

“So now that people are coming back together, they’re just having a good time outside in the open area social distancing,” said Pugh.

George Cotton, the Vice-Chancellor released a statement reading, “It appears that students gathered on one of the UAPB parking lots somewhere between 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm. Preliminary information reveals that while Campus Police did not witness, or confirm, any inappropriate conduct taking place, they did disburse the group when they returned at 11:50 pm due to our no-tolerance policy on large group gatherings. We are terribly disappointed that students would endanger themselves and other students. UAPB takes the issue of COVID19 very seriously and is currently investigating who was involved and will determine what disciplinary actions might be necessary.”

Pugh said not being able to gather, wearing masks and social distancing are all changes students now have to adjust to.

“When we were here our freshman and sophomore years the school was a lot more different than what it is now,” said Pugh.

Cotton said the school is cracking down and will be enforcing more procedures in the upcoming weeks.

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