Wake Forest University student group on suspension after part of floor collapses during party


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – An off-campus party at Wake Forest University on Saturday ended with a part of the floor collapsing. The student organization hosting the party is on an interim suspension as university officials investigate.

Caution tape blocked the front door of the house where the party was held on Palm Drive in Winston-Salem.

“It’s really a little bit disturbing,” said Dan Wells, whose father lives in the neighborhood.

Beer cans were scattered across the front yard.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Wells said. “There are just massive parties and they’re still having them.”

A portion of the floor collapsed in a private home as students packed inside one of the rooms.

“I have sleepless nights,” said Debra Shaw, who lives in the near the house. “I called the police on them last night. There was partying over in the middle of the street at 10 o’clock at night.”

According to Winston-Salem police, the party lasted until nearly 2 a.m. Saturday when officers arrived. A video circulating on social media believed to be the party that caused damage showed people not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

“Everybody interacting together partying really hard and not much signs of any safety procedures going on,” Wells said. “There’s so many students who aren’t taking it seriously.”

Wells told FOX8 the lack of coronavirus precautions worry him and his neighbors. According to the Wake Forest University Student Code of Conduct no more than 10 people are allowed to gather indoors including off-campus locations. Violations can be punishable up to expulsion for students.

“At least wear a mask and respect the fact that there is a virus out there,” Wells said.

Neighbors hope for more enforcement off-campus and that this incident serves as a wake-up call for students.

“You wouldn’t do this in your own hometown,” Shaw said. “Your parents wouldn’t let you do this.”

A Wake Forest University spokesperson shared this statement with FOX8:

“Wake Forest is aware of the Feb. 27 incident involving students at a privately-owned, off-campus residence where a portion of the floor collapsed. The University’s first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students. We are not aware of any serious injuries, but we are following up with those involved to provide support and resources, including assistance with housing. The University is also investigating violations of the University’s COVID-19 protocols. A student organization has been placed on interim suspension while the incident is under investigation.”

FOX8 has reached out to the property owner but have not heard back.

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