Northeastern University dismisses 11 students for gathering in violation of COVID-19 policies (but keeps their tuition dollars)

Northeastern has dismissed 11 first-year students after they were discovered together in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston on Wednesday night, in violation of university and public health protocols that prohibit crowded gatherings.

Their tuition dollars of $36,500 each will not be refunded, said the university.

The students (and their parents) were notified Friday that they must vacate the Westin within 24 hours. Before departing, they were required to undergo COVID-19 testing at Northeastern, with the understanding that anyone who tests positive will be moved into wellness housing at the university until they have recovered, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The students have been informed that they are no longer part of the Northeastern community for the fall semester. They have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing. 

The 11 students were enrolled in the Program, an international experience for first-year students that has been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and now includes Boston as one of the locations. There are 818 students staying in two-person rooms at the Westin, less than one mile from the Boston campus.

“Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” said Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern. “Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those people who do not follow the guidelines—including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing your hands, and getting tested—are putting everyone else at risk.

“Testing negative for COVID-19 is not enough, Estabrook said. “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.” [ … ]

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