Weeks before the start of the school year, students have already been evicted from their dorms at UConn
Every fall, nearly 15 million teens and young adults pack their bags and head off to college where they spend the next several months cohabitating with others, meeting new people, learning in classrooms, studying for their future, and partying in their free time. However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are looking drastically different for college students. While many colleges and universities around the country have opted for virtual learning, others have opted to open their doors — and their dorms — hoping that students will act responsibly and follow all coronavirus-related protocol. The school year hasn’t even officially started at University of Connecticut, and school officials have already slapped down some serious penalties for students who opted to violate the rules by throwing a packed bash in their dorm.
After footage from a crowded party started circulating the internet, UConn officials promptly proved to their students that they were taking the rules very seriously, evicting a number of people from their dorms.
“According to the report we reviewed this morning, students were not wearing masks, closely assembled, and endangering not only their own health and wellbeing, but that of others at a time when UConn is working to protect our community and resume classes in the context of a deadly global pandemic,” Eleanor Daugherty, UConn’s associate vice president and dean of students, wrote in a memo earlier this week to all students living on campus, per People. Daugherty noted that those involved in the “unapproved gathering” were facing disciplinary action in the form of being “removed from housing” during the university’s investigation.
“These actions do not represent or speak for the 5,000 residents currently composing our residential community,” Daugherty added. “Our residential community has demonstrated an admirable commitment to follow universal precautions and keep our community safe. In doing so, they have made considerable sacrifice. We applaud and honor your actions during this quarantine.”
Daugherty also pointed out that the public health was compromised by “inviting students into a room for a late night party.”
“The vast majority of our students are doing the right thing – but every student needs to do the same,” she wrote. “As residents, we ask that you join them in this important task and not let the actions of the few endanger the health and safety of the many.”
On Wednesday, UConn’s President Tom Katsouleas and Provost Carl Lejuez also asked students to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.
“On an individual level, we must each commit to following recommended public health protocols to keep ourselves and our community safe,” they wrote. “While cooperation is overwhelmingly positive, we also know there are cases of noncompliance. It is important for us to share that we take these very seriously, and we will and have taken action to keep UConn and our surrounding communities safe. This action can start with a conversation, but we have measures in place for necessary disciplinary action.”
Other colleges across the country are also taking disciplinary action against those failing to abide by coronavirus safety precautions. According to KSTP, 17 students were suspended from St. Olaf college in Minneapolis after going to a party without masks and failing to socially distance themselves from others. At least one of the parties attendees was COVID-19 positive.
After initially planning on reopening, a number of colleges have changed course, according to NBC News. These include University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, and Michigan State University.
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