Northeastern University announced Friday that 11 first-year students have been dismissed from school after they were found together in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston earlier this week in violation of university and public health protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Signage is displayed at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 20, 2020. College financial aid offices are bracing for a spike in appeals from students finding that the aid packages they were offered for next year are no longer enough after the coronavirus pandemic cost their parents jobs or income.
“Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” said Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern. “Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those people who do not follow the guidelines — including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing your hands, and getting tested — are putting everyone else at risk.”
The students and their parents were notified Friday that they must vacate the Westin within 24 hours. Any payments they have already made are non-refundable, the school said. Before departing, the students are being required to undergo COVID-19 testing at Northeastern. Anyone who tests positive will be moved into special housing at the university until they have recovered.
The students do have the right to contest their dismissal at a hearing, the university said.
The Westin Hotel is one of several Boston hotels being used to house students at local colleges and universities due to the social distancing required as a result of the pandemic.
The 11 students were all enrolled in the N.U.in Program, a study abroad experience for first-year students. Over 800 students in the program are staying in 2-person rooms at the Westin, which is located less than a mile from the Northeastern campus.
Northeastern said the gathering of 11 students was discovered Wednesday night by two N.U.in staff members who were on call and making rounds of the building. The staff members took down the students’ information and sent them back to their individual rooms.
More to come.