More than 100 Sacred Heart University students suspended for violating COVID-19 protocols

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More than 100 Sacred Heart University students have been suspended for violating the school’s COVID-19 protocols since the start of the semester, a university spokeswoman said Monday.

In the past month, the private university in Fairfield has issued 109 total “COVID-related suspensions,” Executive Director of Communications Deborah Noack said in an email. Undergraduate classes began Aug. 31.

Suspensions typically last 14 days or 30 days depending on the situation, but two of the students became “repeat offenders” and have been removed from campus for the remainder of the semester, she added. While suspended, students are not allowed to come on campus or participate in any school-related activities.

In early September, following an uptick in coronavirus infections among students living off campus in Bridgeport, the university asked all students living in the city to attend classes from home and avoid visiting the school’s campus.

“With … this flare-up in Bridgeport, we need to be highly cautious and proactive in our decisions,” Sacred Heart officials wrote in a notice to students.

Less than three weeks later university President John J. Petillo chastised students in a video message, saying “a significant number” of them were not taking the pandemic seriously and said the school could suspend in-person education if its cases did not slow.

“We are at a real point of decision about the future of the semester on-ground,” he said in the Sept. 21 video. “We need to turn the tide and get the spread of the virus under control.”

Sacred Heart is not the first school in Connecticut to suspend students for ignoring COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but the total number of students cited is greater than has been reported at other colleges and universities in the state. Qunnipiac University, Connecticut College and UConn have also sent home undergrads for


14 Purdue University students suspended after throwing dorm party, officials say

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More than a dozen Purdue University students were suspended this week after officials say they disregarded school rules and threw a party in a residence hall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After finding out about the Sept. 26 event, Katie Sermersheim, associate vice provost and dean of students, issued suspensions to 14 students, including 13 athletes, for violating the school’s Protect Purdue Pledge.


In part, the pledge asks students to maintain “appropriate social distancing,” especially when in the presence of others, in order to stem the spread of COVID-19 on campus. To make sure this happens, the school has specifically prohibited students from hosting, organizing or attending events on or off-campus that do not allow for safe social distancing.


The guidelines read in part: “Organizing and/or hosting, either individually or with others, an event, party or other gathering (‘event’) or attending such an event, where the attendees are not required to, or willfully fail or refuse to, adhere to the requirements of the Protect Purdue Pledge, or of state or local public health laws, regulations or orders.” This includes but is not limited to maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and wearing an appropriate face mask, according to the school.

Per the university’s code of conduct, students found in violation of the pledge are “subject to disciplinary action,” according to the school’s Monday notice.


Sermersheim used the opportunity to remind students of the importance of adhering to the Protect Purdue Pledge amid the ongoing pandemic.

“This virus continues to be the demise of many universities and academic pursuits,” she said.

While the majority of students are “behaving admirably,” the school “cannot let our guard down and must hold those who violate


Boston University students busted for violating coronavirus gathering rules could get suspended for semester

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Boston University students busted for violating the university’s coronavirus gathering rules over the weekend could get suspended for the fall semester.

The disciplinary hearings for 20 BU students after they were caught partying outdoors on campus comes in the wake of 11 Northeastern University students getting dismissed for violating social distancing rules.

The 20 BU students allegedly drinking in West Campus — in “the grotto” next to Nickerson Field — could face a semester-long suspension, the BU administration’s website reported.

“There were 25-plus people with alcohol, close together, with no masks or their masks pulled down around their chin,” Dean Kenneth Elmore told BU Today.

“This weekend’s alleged violations are violations of the expectations we set out for this academic year,” Elmore added. “The alcohol use in public and under legal drinking age, public noise disturbance, and the notion that the police had to respond all exacerbate the matter.”

The student disciplinary hearings are expected to be completed this week.

“The possible consequences include a semester-long suspension with no refund for tuition or room and board or a deferred suspension, which means they would be suspended if they incur a second disciplinary infraction of any kind,” the BU administration’s website wrote.

The same weekend that the BU students got caught partying on campus, Salem State University students were busted for violating coronavirus gathering rules.

The Salem students who attended two unrelated apartment parties will be cited by public health officials for the violations.

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