BOSTON (WHDH) - Northeastern University has dismissed 11 first-year students after they were found together in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston on Wednesday night, in violation of university and public health protocols, officials said.
The students and their parents were notified Friday that they must vacate the Westin within 24 hours. Before departing, they were required to undergo COVID-19 testing at Northeastern, with the understanding that anyone who tests positive will be moved into wellness housing at the university until they have recovered, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the school said in a statement.
The students have been informed that they are no longer part of the Northeastern community for the fall semester. They have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing.
The 11 students were enrolled in the N.U.in Program, a study-abroad experience for first-year students that has been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and now includes Boston as one of the locations. There are 818 N.U.in students staying in two-person rooms at the Westin, less than one mile from the Boston campus.
“Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” said Northeastern’s senior vice chancellor for student affairs, Madeleine Estabrook. “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 school claimed students in the N.U.in Program were formally notified that they must practice physical distancing, avoid crowds, and wear masks in the presence of other people.
“They sent out plenty of emails outlining their expectations for us upon us returning and I think that they’re really holding people accountable and I think that’s gonna allow us to stay on campus and make everyone feel a lot safer,” sophomore Rhiannon Whyte said.
A number of other students 7NEWS spoke with on campus said they did not feel bad for the students who broke the rules.
“A lot of people are riding on coming back to campus for the status of their education and everything like that, so if no one is following the rules, they need to set a precedent, so I think that it’s fine that they rescinded their admission,” sophomore Elizabeth Doyle said.
For the rest of the campus community, many said they are receiving the message loud and clear — no parties.
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