Concern about Pepperdine students throwing potentially COVID-spreading parties was reinvigorated after Pepperdine student newspaper The Graphic published an article Thursday, Sept. 10, citing a professor who said he had witnessed students throwing “large indoor parties with 20 to 30 people with no masks or social distancing” in his Malibu neighborhood.
“[It is upsetting] to see somebody just breaking the rules, especially when Pepperdine has gone as far as they have and going online for everything,” the professor, Communications Professor Jon Pfeiffer, told The Graphic.
Pepperdine’s vice president for student affairs wrote in an email to the Pepperdine community Aug. 27 that the school had received reports that students had been “gathering locally in large groups at the beaches or in house parties.” Horton reminded students to follow state and local guidelines, but did not say there would be any sanctions from the university specifically upon students who violate COVID-19 conduct codes.
The Graphic reported in the same article that more than 200 Pepperdine students still live in Malibu despite school being online, with the most common reason for doing so being “to continue socializing with friends and classmates to simulate the typical college experience as much as possible.”
KBUU reported some of those living off-campus were the results of students hurriedly seeking accommodations after the school abruptly reversed its plan to re-open.
“Pepperdine signed up thousands of students for dorm accommodations this fall in Malibu” when it still had plans to reopen in the fall, but then told students to stay home when it reversed course on reopening later, leaving students scrambling to find apartments and group houses in Malibu, Calabasas and Santa Monica, KBUU reported.