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Northeastern issues warning to students about partying



Northeastern University sent a letter to all students on Saturday warning that anyone who disregards school COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings and decides to attend or host a party will see their admission rescinded. 

The message follows another directed letter that was sent on Friday to 115 incoming students, who answered “yes” on an Instagram survey asking if they planned to party when they got to campus, WGBH reports

“It has been brought to our attention that on a social media platform you have indicated an intent to gather in large groups and engage in parties while disregarding numerous government and university restrictions regarding safe distancing and social gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis, and encouraged others to do the same,” Madeleine Estabrook, the senior vice chancellor for student affairs, wrote to the students who said they planned to party. “This is unacceptable, will not be tolerated, and presents a danger to your health and the health of our community … Even if this gesture on social media was made in jest, your willingness to mock the well-being of our community, and the efforts made to protect it, demonstrates a degree of carelessness that does not meet the values and principles we uphold.” 

Estabrook told the 115 students that unless they “immediately” responded in writing saying they will abide by the Northeastern University Code of Student Conduct and the university’s Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation, the school would rescind the student’s offer of admission. 

In a letter to the larger student body on Saturday, Estabrook said anyone who “expresses plans to host or attend unsafe gatherings” can expect the same response. 

“Enrolling students may have their offer of admission rescinded,” the school official wrote. “Current students can expect removal from the community, including the immediate loss of university housing. Disciplinary processes will be expedited so that Northeastern can move swiftly to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone. Our own university standards are clear: social gatherings that do not follow healthy distancing rules put everyone’s health at risk and are strictly prohibited. Please consider these expectations—and the consequences for violating them—carefully before fall classes commence.”

Northeastern, one of several schools in the Boston area that has opted to bring students back to campus and offer a mix of online and in-person instruction, isn’t the only institution taking a firm stance on preventing parties. Boston College is hiring a Boston police detail to break up student parties. Local officials have pressed schools to consider all-remote options, concerned about students contributing to the spread of the coronavirus in their neighborhoods and cities. 

Recent weeks have seen college parties result in COVID-19 outbreaks and campus shutdowns, with an increasing number of schools announcing suspensions for students who violate campus rules aimed at preventing spread of the virus. Syracuse University announced Thursday they were suspending 23 students following a large on-campus gathering.

In her letter Saturday, Estabrook said Northeastern students need to hold one another accountable and report plans of “unsafe gatherings” to the student affairs office. 

“Northeastern expects the same simple, healthy behaviors of each person in its community—to practice healthy distancing, wear face coverings, participate in testing as required, and to comply with university policies and public health guidelines,” she wrote. “We are confident that our community will show respect for others, care for each other, and responsible actions as we reopen our campuses.”

Read the full letter, released Saturday, below: 

Dear Northeastern University students,

Earlier this week, Northeastern University learned of several students expressing on social media their intent to gather in large groups and to engage in parties. These plans disregard numerous government and university restrictions regarding safe distancing and social gatherings. They are not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the university.

The Office for Student Affairs has contacted the students in question to inform them of several actions we expect them to take immediately, including reading and accepting the community standards outlined in the Expectations for Return to Campus Attestationand acknowledging that they will abide by the Northeastern University Code of Student Conduct. If they do not accept these conditions, we will rescind their offers of admission to Northeastern University.

Any student who expresses plans to host or attend unsafe gatherings can expect the same response. Enrolling students may have their offer of admission rescinded. Current students can expect removal from the community, including the immediate loss of university housing. Disciplinary processes will be expedited so that Northeastern can move swiftly to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone.

Our own university standards are clear: social gatherings that do not follow healthy distancing rules put everyone’s health at risk and are strictly prohibited. Please consider these expectations—and the consequences for violating them—carefully before fall classes commence. If you learn of other students planning to hold unsafe gatherings, please urge them to consider the health and safety of our community and to change their plans. If they choose not to, you may contact the Office for Student Affairs at svcstudentaffairs@northeastern.edu to report plans of unsafe gatherings.

Northeastern expects the same simple, healthy behaviors of each person in its community—to practice healthy distancing, wear face coverings, participate in testing as required, and to comply with university policies and public health guidelines. We are confident that our community will show respect for others, care for each other, and responsible actions as we reopen our campuses.

Sincerely,

Madeleine Estabrook

Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

 


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