Virginia State spokesman says Sunday’s mandatory curfew was to prevent students from searching for missing peers

Virginia State University (VSU) implemented a mandatory curfew on its 5,300 students Sunday evening, later saying it was to prevent students from searching for two freshmen who had apparently gone missing Saturday night.

Administrators at Virginia State University enforced a mandatory curfew Sunday night.

“#vsu, a curfew is in full effect. students are instructed to go to their dorm rooms immediately,” read a tweet sent by administrators to the student body at  9:13 p.m Sunday.

VSU spokesman Thomas Reed confirmed to Campus Reform on Monday that students were ordered to remain indoors until 6 a.m. Monday morning and that the campus was closed to the public while the curfew was in place.

“We just felt that it was best for our students’ safety to enact a curfew so that our students stayed on campus and allow their emotions to cool down a bit,” he told Campus Reform.

The two VSU students went missing around 1:30 a.m. late Saturday after they were last seen attempting to cross the Appomattox River, according to a local CBS affiliate.

According to Reed, some students had discussed forming a search party Sunday night to locate them, something university officials apparently considered to be dangerous.

The possibility of a dangerous scenario gave administrators the authority to enforce an all-school curfew, Reed added.

“We have delineated functions that we undertake to secure our campus and ensure the security of our students,” said Reed.

He added that while the curfew was “not really voluntary” he was unsure what punishment students could have potentially faced for ignoring it.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @oliverdarcy