Universities threaten sanctions for not wearing masks, failure to social distance

Students at Appalachian State can face “termination or expulsion” for not following safety procedures.

Binghamton University students risk “removal from campus housing pursuant to the housing license” for incompliance with rules.

Universities have released their on-campus safety procedures for reopening this fall. If students fail to comply with health regulations, they risk disciplinary sanctions. 

Appalachian State University, for example, is threatening to expel students if they do not follow all mask-wearing procedures. Students are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing “while on University property.” The masks “are not a replacement for social distancing,” and students should remain at least six feet away from each other, the university says.

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There are a few exceptions to the rule - among them being participating in sports and conducting presentations. In classroom settings, there must be either “a transparent shield or other transparent partition” to serve as a barrier between the presenter and audience. The administration will implement these guidelines through the Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management. 

These safety regulations will be enforced “in accordance with applicable federal and state law, UNC System policies, and institutional policies.” Any violations to the social distancing or mask-wearing policies “may result in grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.”

Students at the University of Colorado-Boulder could face similar disciplinary actions if they do not follow the coronavirus preventive procedures. The university updated its student conduct code, and violations of the university’s policy now include failure to adhere to public health regulations. Students found to have violated university policy can face sanctions as severe as expulsion. 

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Students who do not comply with the policies at Binghamton University can face “adjournment of a class session by a faculty member, removal from campus housing pursuant to the housing license or denial of on-campus wireless access to the non-compliant off-campus student.”

The University of Delaware has incorporated apps and “Compliance Hotlines” which students can use to report individuals violating “the State of Delaware’s requirements and UD’s policies regarding face masks and other measures.”

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