MILWAUKEE - Cellphone video shot by a concerned neighbor captured a crowd of people gathered outside a home near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a UWM student who lives off-campus described it as a small gathering that took a turn.
"Roommate's birthday -- had some of our close friends over," the student said. "Maybe 15 people were here. Turn around, there's 30 people walking in our front door."
The student said they were bombarded with people and asked them to leave.
"We went around and apologized to neighbors," the student said. "Extremely embarrassed."
Students at UWM take a pledge and are encouraged to minimize large gatherings. While university police didn't address this specific gathering on Tuesday, Sept. 8, they shared this about parties during the pandemic.
UWM Police Chief Joseph LeMire
"My message to students wanting to attend large parties is don`t do it," said UWM Police Chief Joseph LeMire. "That has to be the message."
The chief said it's usually renters of the home who have to deal with the repercussions.
"There is some conduct, discipline cases that can be handled for off-campus behavior, which is why that relationship with MPD, us and the dean of students exists," said the chief.
"We feel terrible to our neighbors," said the student. "That is not who we are, and we didn't want to look that way. We tried to clear it up with neighbors -- that it was never our goal."
School officials have not shared whether the students who attended the party or the tenants will face consequences. The police chief said if students are going to gather, it should stay small, with maybe 10 people or less.