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East Lansing issues new ordinance, students and councilmembers react

East Lansing issues new ordinance
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Posted at 1:35 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 01:35:33-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — There is a new emergency ordinance in East Lansing that allows police officers to give citations to anyone who goes against the Ingham County public health orders. For those who do, they face up to $500 in fines.

Some Michigan State University students agree with the city of East Lansing after the board approved a new emergency ordinance on Tuesday night.

“I think that’s a good job, by at least setting the standard and making sure students get the message,” said MSU student Matt Burr.

Councilmember Jessy Gregg hopes those in the community who have been refusing to follow the 25-person capacity limit for outdoor gatherings start to comply.

“I think our contact tracing is good enough that we really can identify this specific type of gathering as a prime vector. Having the ability to immediately - essentially a cease and desist those parties along with what we’re hoping will be a very convincing fine level, will maybe have the effect that the educational campaign and public relations messages have not penetrated,” said Councilmember Gregg.

Mayor Aaron Stephens says he’s not happy they have to take such big steps to enforce safety measures but feels it’s the right thing to do.

“I don’t like the idea of putting fines on somebody that is making a mistake. But the truth is is that if we have issue areas where we are seeing repeat offenses, there has to be some kind of retribution for it,” said Mayor Stephens.

Even MSU police are getting involved with enforcing some rules of their own. With the Big Ten football season starting next week, there is some concern about tailgating parties getting out of hand.

“We’re going to educate people first. We’re going to give them a chance to comply. If they don’t comply, we’re going to take enforcement," said Michigan State University Department Public Information Officer Chris Rozman. "Enforcement of this sense in violating the MSU ordinance on open alcohol - it’s a 90-day misdemeanor issued through the East Lansing 54 b District Court.”

MSU police will be ready to take action if students decide not to follow the rules.

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