A Message from President John Thrasher: Behavior That Threatens Campus Health and Safety

Dear FSU Students,

Over the past few days I have learned of several reports of students holding house parties, participating in large gatherings, not wearing face coverings and not social distancing.

I am deeply concerned with this sheer defiance to comply with the university’s guidelines and expectations set forth and communicated to you before the fall semester.

On Sunday, FSU Police arrested and charged seven students for hosting an “open house party.” The party, in which very few people were wearing face coverings or social distancing, resulted in several noise complaints and underage drinking violations. Those students will be held accountable by law enforcement as well as face disciplinary actions by the university.

Let me be perfectly clear: We will not tolerate any behavior that puts the health and safety of the campus or the Tallahassee community at risk. Consequences may include disciplinary probation, administrative action or suspension.

FSU administrators and staff, including FSU Police Chief Terri Brown and her team, have worked around the clock to provide a healthier and safer environment for the campus community. I’m 100 percent behind Chief Brown, her officers and my staff as they enforce the law and policies outlined in our Fall 2020 plan and the Return to Student Life Guide. Updated guidance with regard to gatherings will be forthcoming.

While the majority of our students are acting with consideration and concern for others, the irresponsible and reckless behavior of a few puts any hope of the campus remaining open in jeopardy for all of us.

Our expectations are simple: Whether on campus or off, we expect you to wear a face covering, adhere to social distancing, wash your hands frequently, avoid gathering in large groups, and stay home if you’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.

We have seen college campuses across the country revert to remote learning within days of opening after outbreaks of COVID-19 were linked to parties and other non-sanctioned activities. Our goal is to remain open, and we have the opportunity to rise to the challenge. We are counting on you to take personal responsibility and make the right choices.

The university has done all it can to take necessary precautions, offer convenient on-campus testing, and put appropriate safety measures in place. Now, it’s up to you.


John Thrasher
President, Florida State University