The coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, including the experience of students on college campuses. The pandemic has forced both public and private institutions to implement policies to battle the spread of the virus. Some public institutions have remained closed for the past year. Today, with mass vaccinations taking place, many students are able to return to college campuses to continue their education. Students are finding that many colleges have implemented strict coronavirus policies that must be followed. Violating college coronavirus policies can result in suspension or expulsion in extreme cases.
Students accused of violating college policies might be able to defend their actions and stay in school with the help of a lawyer. Below are a few instances where a student may face grave consequences for violating the rules.
Not Wearing a Mask
Masks have become a norm in today’s world. It is not only colleges and higher education institutions who are enforcing the use of masks, but many public and private outlets as well. It has been argued that you have a moral responsibility to yourself, your loved ones, and to society to wear a mask to reduce the spread of infection. Whether or not you are expelled or suspended for not wearing a mask depends on several factors.
You may be asked to sign a form when you return to campus which may strictly state that you cannot enter campus buildings without a mask. You may face consequences, such as being removed from class, receiving a written warning, or being suspended.
Hosting and Attending Parties
Group gatherings are frowned upon as of now. This may change in the future, but currently, group gatherings are not permitted as these encourage interactions without masks. Group gatherings can result in an uptick of infections. In some colleges, on-campus fraternities and sororities can be subject to disciplinary measures if they are found to be violating any of these rules.
While colleges have more authority and capability to police students on campus, it becomes much harder to do so when students are living in houses off-campus. However, students found violating national or regional rules and regulations may be subject to disciplinary actions by the local police. Colleges may work with local law enforcement to address these types of issues.
Withholding Information from Authorities
Students should not be attending classes and social events if they have tested positive for COVID-19. They should inform their course director at the earliest. Attending classes puts everyone else at risk of infection. Withholding information of past travel, or past and current infections can amount to being a health hazard to society.
On the other hand, if a student attends classes without knowing they are infected, they should not be charged with violating any rules. Theoretically, only intentional acts should be punished.
Students should strive to abide by the rules they agreed to when registering for classes. It’s important to know that written warnings and suspensions are added to students’ permanent records and can severely affect future employment and educational prospects. Nevertheless, students also have the right to contact an attorney if they believe they have been wrongfully charged. Attorneys with the right expertise can help overturn false charges and unfair decisions.