SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Scottsdale college student was suspended from his school in Wisconsin after hosting a get-together in his backyard.
He lives off campus, and claims the university told him it was fine, but the school is defending its decision to suspend him.
Tanner Hoffman was about to start his junior year at Carroll University, and his basketball season too.
It was August 21, three days before classes started. Hoffman and his roommates wanted to have some friends over to their Wisconsin home, which was off-campus. "We took the steps we needed to make sure we weren’t going to get in trouble and had the safest alternative, but the school obviously saw it another way and they made their decision," Hoffman said.
Hoffman and his dad said he actually called the school to ask about the rules for off-campus gatherings, and if they applied before the first day of classes.
"By the school’s own definition they weren’t yet students of the university, and the other issue is they actually called the office of Residential Life and Housing to get guidance. They were told the policies do not extend to off-campus activities and to follow Waukesha County guidelines, which basically states they recommend you limit your gatherings to 100 people or less," his dad Steve Hoffman said.
They ended up having less than 20 people over, but said their neighbor snapped a picture of them and sent it to the school.
The university suspended Hoffman and his roommates for the semester, and made everyone who came to the party quarantine for 14 days.
School officials said they made their guidelines clear. "We're confident in the decision-making process on this. Some think it's harsh; some think it's right on target," Carroll University's president said.
"They could have given them a warning or some education on their policy, but they decided to throw the harshest penalty that’s available to them, which is a suspension, which is going to have detrimental effects beyond just this semester," Steve Hoffman said.
Hoffman said they thought they did everything right. "We called, we made sure we weren’t breaking the rules; we genuinely didn’t think we would get in trouble at all. But definitely looking back in 2020 vision, definitely would have avoided any of this," Hoffman said.
Hoffman's family appealed, but lost, so he's banned from any activities with the school's basketball team during the suspension, and is now taking online classes at Scottsdale Community College to try and keep up with credits.