Several students at UMass Amherst have become the latest to serve suspensions for allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols at the height of the post-holiday surge in new infections.
A spokesperson for the school said that more than 10 students who gathered in small and large groups in early March in violation of UMass’ COVID-19 protocols will face temporary suspension for their actions.
In February, UMass instructed students not to gather outside of homes or dorms, outside of meals as the pandemic was spiking over the winter. At the time the students being punished gathered, UMass was operating at “Elevated Risk” levels after the school recovered from “High-Risk” restrictions.
Officials did not comment on details of specific cases or suspensions due to privacy law, noting that sanctions are determined based on the severity of the infraction, with penalties ranging from a reprimand, probation, removal from housing, and suspension.
Of the more than 1,000 cases that were ruled on during the spring at UMass, it was noted that no student was suspended for simply not wearing a mask. These students were sanctioned for participating in multiple large and small gatherings against the school and state mandates.
“Expectations regarding students’ responsibility to follow public health protocols, and the consequences for failing to do so, were clearly communicated to students before and throughout the spring semester, and students were updated regularly as conditions changed,” a spokesperson for the school stated.
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