As we near the end of the second year of COVID-19, it may seem like the pandemic is almost over. However, the reality remains that the pandemic is far from over and we all must continue our vigilance about masking, social distancing and getting vaccinated when possible. Indeed, many institutions are cracking down on social distancing, masks, and vaccination policies more than ever.
Colleges and universities are no exception. It’s crucial for college students to be aware of their schools’ changing COVID-19 policies and the consequences they can face for violating them.
At DC Student Defense, we help students defend themselves from college disciplinary actions and protect their rights as students. Read on for some COVID violations you might not know about and how to avoid them.
Policies can change at any time
We live in an era of uncertainty, and there’s no aspect of student life that is more uncertain right now than campus operations.
Ever since the fall semester began, colleges around the country have seen sporadic cases of infection and quarantine, leading some to even move temporarily back to online classes.
For example, in early September, Connecticut college moved all classes to remote learning in response to dozens of students contracting COVID from parties, bars, and get-togethers.
Here are some other policies and procedures that are subject to rapid change as a result of COVID infection:
- Remote vs. in-person learning
- Social distancing and mask requirements
- Symptom monitoring and contract tracing programs
- Quarantine and isolation policies
- Dorm policies regarding parties, visitors, and socialization
Because of these unexpected changes, it’s easy to get confused and find yourself in violation of a policy or code of conduct that you didn’t even know existed.
COVID Violations You Didn’t Know About
At DC Student Defense, we hear from students all the time about the unclear and changing expectations their school administrations have in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some innocent actions that could accidentally spiral into a disciplinary charge:
- Small gatherings can quickly become bigger: You might be completely within your rights to host a small gathering of a few friends in your dorm room. However, as any college student can tell you, small gatherings can quickly become big parties. Be careful about any socialization in the era of COVID -19.
- Dorms can have stricter regulations than you’ve been told: With policies changing all the time, you might have missed an email or even not been told about new regulations in your dorm. Make sure to be vigilant and be in frequent contact with your Resident Assistant.
- Masks might be necessary even for vaccinated students: You might think that some COVID -19 policies don’t apply to you because you’ve been vaccinated. Unfortunately, even vaccinated students can spread the virus, and many schools are still requiring vaccinated students to wear masks, observe social distancing, and participate in contract tracing programs.
You might be able to find updated information in your school’s code of conduct. However, it is good to be on the lookout for emails and other communications from your school.
If you’re accused of violating your school’s COVID -19 policies, it’s vital that you get in touch with a student defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact DC Student Defense Today
Experienced student defense attorney Shanlon Wu knows how university disciplinary proceedings operate, and has helped many clients defend their rights and protect their academic futures. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and talk about your case.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.