Northeastern University in Boston has just taken a dramatic stance against students breaking COVID rules.
On Friday, September 4, Northeastern University announced that it had dismissed 11 freshmen for violating social distancing rules and for not wearing masks.
University staff discovered these students socializing at their temporary dormitory, the Westin Hotel, on Wednesday, September 2. They were required to move out immediately and get tested for COVID-19. Per university rules, their housing payments won’t be refunded. Neither will the university refund their tuition, which was a prepaid amount of $36,500.
The university won’t refund their tuition, which was a prepaid amount of $36,500.
These 11 students were part of a special one-semester study abroad program open to freshman, called the N.U.in. Because of the pandemic, the program was modified to take place in Boston.
According to the university, the dismissed students will have to right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing. However, students had been previously notified several times of the social distancing rules and the consequences of not following them.
In August, Northeastern sent letters to over 100 freshman and their parents after seeing these students’ intention to attend college parties posted on social media. All enrolled students were notified at the end of August that they would be “suspended for hosting or attending an unsafe gathering.”
All enrolled students were notified that they would be “suspended for hosting or attending an unsafe gathering.”
The university also reminded students several times in September that they must social distance, wear masks, and avoid crowds. Students were required to sign off on these rules as part of their student handbook.
So it seems these 11 students are getting the punishment they were promised for their actions. But is keeping their tuition appropriate? Is this the university’s way to cover the extra costs of renting out extra dormitory space to spread out the student population? Or is it to motivate parents to motivate their children to follow the rules?