Eleven students were suspended from Northeastern University for the rest of the fall semester after staff members found them congregated in a temporary dorm room at the Westin Hotel in Boston. According to the Boston Globe, the students’ $36,500 tuition and housing charges will not be refunded due to the policies of a “first-year international experience” program called N.U.in.
Northeastern has dismissed 11 first-year students after they gathered together inviolation of university andpublic health protocols that prohibit crowded gatherings. https://t.co/4bSTi9AejF
— Northeastern U. (@Northeastern) September 4, 2020
The N.U.in. students and their parents were informed of the suspension on Friday and asked to “be tested for COVID-19, enter quarantine if they test positive, and then leave” within 24 hours.
According to the university, the students violated a policy banning “guests, visitors, or additional occupants… including neighbors within your residential building” inside each other’s rooms
“The students were required to acknowledge that they had reviewed the program handbook, which included details of the COVID-19 requirements that are meant to keep everyone safe,” Northeastern wrote in a news release detailing the suspension.
Like some universities around the nation, Northeastern attempted to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by notifying students that if they elected to return to campus in the fall, they would be suspended if they did not actively practice “physical distancing, avoid crowds, and wear masks in the presence of other people.”
“Students who host an unsafe (no masks and without healthy distancing) gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus can expect suspension,” Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern, said in a letter to the students in late August. “Students who attend an unsafe gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus, can expect suspension.”
Even though the university maintains “regular testing for everyone who lives and works on campus,” providing “wellness housing for those who test positive,” Estabrook said that “testing negative for COVID-19 is not enough” and that students should have followed the rules.
“We must practice all of the public health guidelines in order to keep ourselves and the community healthy. Together, we can keep each other safe, but it will require everyone’s consistent cooperation,” she said.
The university claims that the suspended students “will have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing.”