PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – 43 students have been suspended from SUNY Plattsburgh for violating health protocols after police found them partying at a local beach Friday evening.

“Campus and the wider Plattsburgh community’s health and safety is our highest priority,” said SUNY Plattsburgh President Alex Enyedi. “Actions have consequences, and this demonstrates we mean what we say.”

The students were reportedly spotted at Sailor’s Beach, which is closed to the public. Police said most of them weren’t wearing masks. Students at the gathering who live on campus are now required to leave their residence halls and won’t be allowed back until further notice.

The suspensions don’t have a specified duration, but a separate campus judicial process will determine the future status of the students.

“I expected something like this would happen, it’s unfortunate,” said Ellie Lewis, a first year student who didn’t attend the gathering. “It was well handled by the school, I think what they did was needed and should teach a lesson to the other students.”

Lewis said she hopes she can continue to live and learn on campus despite some students violating the rules that allow her to be there.

“I am worried that it’s going to go back to all remote, most of my teachers are already planning for it, they have everything set up and their lesson plans have all been changed,” Lewis said. “You know, everyone wants to have the perfect college life, but everything has been twisted around.”

The suspensions come a day after the SUNY Plattsburgh announced a new pooled testing strategy that will allow 10-15 tests to be conducted at once using saliva swabs.

Other students said the majority of their classmates are taking the new safety measures seriously, and it’s just a few exceptions causing uncertainty around the rest of this semester.

“I think they kind of knew what they were doing was wrong, I just think they didn’t think they’d get caught,” said Miranda Velez. “I know that when class was cut short in March, it was just a really big bummer for everybody. I’m hoping everyone follows the rules, so far it seems like everyone’s been listening and wearing their masks.”