[UPDATED] Parents of two dismissed students hire attorney

The+families+of+two+students+dismissed+by+Northeastern+have+hired+a+lawyer+in+hopes+of+challenging+the+university%27s+decision.

The families of two students dismissed by Northeastern have hired a lawyer in hopes of challenging the university's decision.

Jessica Silverman and George Barker

The families of two of the N.U.in students that were dismissed from Northeastern for engaging in an unsafe gathering in the Westin Hotel have hired a lawyer in hopes of fighting the school’s decision. 

Attorney Brett Joshpe, who is representing the families, described the move by the university to dismiss the students as “grossly disproportionate, rigid and imperious,” as the students were simply watching a basketball game while wearing masks.

“Contrary to what Northeastern and its spokespeople have been leaking to the media, these newly arrived, first-year students had all tested negative for COVID multiple times and were watching a basketball game with masks on,” Joshpe said in an email statement to The News. “They were not ‘partying’ as some in the media (and apparently Northeastern) have suggested.”

Northeastern made headlines across the country when removing the students from campus and failing to refund their tuition totaling $36,500.

“The University and its officials have acted in a shameful and misleading manner throughout this investigation and its aftermath, including announcing disciplinary results before they ever even considered the evidence presented by students,” Joshpe wrote. “For parents out there, imagine sending your homesick kids to college and away from home for the first time and because they dared to meet a group of fellow incoming students, they are publicly humiliated, defamed, and dismissed from school – all for the cool cost of $36,500. Nobody should tolerate an outrage like this, including local politicians cheering on these bullies.”

Northeastern’s Media Relations department declined to comment on the matter out of respect for the ongoing appeals process for the dismissed students. 

There are currently 818 NU.in students housed in the Westin Hotel. Northeastern rented out the hotel to decrease capacity on campus due to COVID-19 concerns. Like the rest of the university, students housed in the Westin are largely limited from gathering. 

“The school has placed students in an untenable position by essentially housing them in a private prison,” Joshpe wrote, “where they have the choice of venturing off campus to have normal human interaction or risk draconian punishment for socializing with others.”

Updated at 3:50 p.m. September 11 to add a statement from Brett Joshpe.