University announces new health violations tipline, threatens students who party with suspension

A+new+sign+and+hand+sanitizer+dispenser+in+Curry+Student+Center.+

Samantha Barry

A new sign and hand sanitizer dispenser in Curry Student Center.

Corey Dockser, news correspondent

In an email sent to students today, the university announced that students who host or attend unsafe gatherings during the pandemic face suspension.

The email, signed by Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs, also warns that the administration will withdraw the university recognition of any student organizations who host such events. 

The university defines an unsafe gathering as one where people are not wearing face masks or maintaining six feet of distance and consisting of more than eight people per 1,000 square feet of space, both indoors and outdoors. Northeastern’s guidelines are identical to the state guidelines implemented Aug. 7.

Northeastern’s FAQ page makes it clear that these measures apply both on and off campus, and students who violate them face punishment not only from the university, but from the state as well — being fined up to $500 per violation. The university also will not refund the costs of room and board for students kicked off campus.

In the same email, the university also instructed students to report “observed or planned unsafe gatherings” through two new tiplines — by phone at 617-373-TIPS(8477) or email at [email protected]

“Our individual actions will be the determining factor in the success of our fall term and in making Northeastern as safe as we all want it to be. We are counting on you,” Estabrook wrote in the email.

The direct consequences and new reporting options come just a week after the university sent letters to incoming first-years and their parents warning them of consequences if they engaged in unsafe activity.

Other schools across the country, such as Ohio State University, Purdue University and Tulane University, are also implementing harsh disciplinary policies in their attempts to prevent outbreaks on campus. Boston University recently sent a similar email to their students, also warning of suspension.