Massive off-campus party draws eyes of UO, health officials

More than 200 people were in attendance and almost none of the partygoers were wearing masks or social distancing, police said.

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 7:55 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As health officials plead each and every day for gatherings to be limited or canceled all together, KEZI 9 News has new information about a large off-campus party near the University of Oregon.

A group gathered at two nearby residences on Nov. 7 in the 600 block of East 14th Avenue in Eugene. That led to police arriving to break it up at about 5:45 p.m.

More than 200 people were in attendance and almost none of the partygoers were wearing masks or social distancing, police said.

Officers arrested a 22-year-old man, who was taken to the Lane County Jail on charges of open container, interfering with police and second-degree criminal trespass.

KEZI received a statement from Kris Winter, the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.

“We are working to gather information about the incident, which appears to have occurred at privately-owned residences off campus,” Winter said. “We do not know that the event was associated with any specific student group and caution anyone from assigning responsibility to fraternities, sororities or any other campus groups.”

Winter said that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is actively investigating the event. School officials will continue to meet with student leaders and local property managers to make the rules and resources even more clear.

"The majority of our students continue to do the right things, day-in and day-out, so incidents like this are discouraging for all of us and endanger our community," Winter said.

KEZI 9 News spoke to students to hear their thoughts on the actions of some of their peers.

Freshman Aidan Oliver weighed in.

“There are those few that are just like, oh it's like getting the flu,” Oliver said. “I know people that are coming back, and they're going right to partying and going out every night. One bad apple ruins it for everyone.”

KEZI also talked to junior Parker Holland.

“Please don't party,” Holland said. “There’s a lot of Greek life stuff going on, and it’s kind of frightening. There’s a frat liveout by my apartment that’s constantly raging on the weekends.”

Lane County Public Health officials shared their thoughts Tuesday.

“That type of activity and that party is very irresponsible and not community-minded,” Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis said.

Davis said that kind of behavior is ignoring the facts and what the community is going through right now.

The University of Oregon said the best way to report violations of COVID-19 safety protocols is through the UO COVID-19 Behavioral Concern online form or by reporting to the Eugene Police Department and the UOPD.

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