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Skidmore College Latest to Crack Down on Students Flouting COVID Rules

Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York has suspended 46 students for breaching the school’s coronavirus rules, News10 reported, following multiple on and off-campus incidents over the weekend.

The college said investigations into “unacceptable behavior” are still ongoing. School officials urged all students to “follow the guidelines they agreed to in order to bring the semester to a successful close.”

Skidmore’s news comes not even a week after Duquesne University suspended all Greek life activity due to “repeated and egregious” violations of coronavirus procedures.

A letter sent to the member organizations of Greek organizations explained that the university found several violations of the university’s student code of conduct’s COVID-19 standards, leading to the immediate suspension of all activities.

Across the country, universities have implemented varying measures to curb the virus. Students that fail to comply, have been met with punishments ranging from warnings that involve a discussion about the situation to suspension.

Adjusting to New Normal? 

Trinity College in Connecticut has implemented four different tiers of protocol which change depending on the severity of the situation on campus. Green is the most relaxed, while at a red level only essential campus functions are allowed.

The school last week suspended 15 students who violated Alert Level Orange policies. After investigating incidents that involved a visit to a local bar and a violation of the COVID-19 guest policy, the students were told to complete the semester remotely. They were also barred from going on campus for the rest of the semester.

“We acknowledge that this semester is highly unusual and that living through a global pandemic is difficult, challenging, and stressful,” the college wrote in a statement. But the students that violated the measures “demonstrated a disregard for the expectations set in our student community contract and COVID policies,” the school said.

Dismissing Students

Ohio State, meanwhile, issued nearly 230 interim suspensions in August to students who violated campus policies by attending parties. Such suspensions mean that the student “may be immediately suspended from all or any portion of university premises, university-related activities or registered student organization activities,” the university website explains.

The interim suspension shall remain in effect until lifted by the vice president or resolved through a student conduct process.

Similarly, Northeastern University in Boston dismissed 11 freshmen last month after the group was found together in a room at the Westin Hotel, in violation of university and public health protocols on crowd gatherings. While the university initially stated that they would not refund the students’ $36,500 tuition fee, the parents of two students hired a lawyer to challenge the university’s decision.

After deliberation, the university decided to credit $27,760 of their fall semester expenses into their spring semester.

Northeastern University’s decision has been controversial, with many believing that the institution is being too hard on the students.

The different approaches to dealing with student violations of social distancing protocol for the coronavirus have sparked discourse. The opening of colleges and universities for the fall semester has led to a rise of positive cases within college-aged individuals across the country, and institutions are hard-pressed to deal with the pandemic while balancing student satisfaction.