Nearly 200 UMass students facing potential sanction, ‘notable’ amount violated COVID-19 regulations

Students are facing potential suspension or expulsion

By McKenna Premus, Assistant Social Media Editor

Nearly 200 University of Massachusetts students are facing disciplinary action, a “notable” amount of whom failed to abide by University COVID-19 rules and regulations, school officials confirmed Wednesday.

“To date, 195 UMass students have gone through the campus conduct process from the beginning of the fall semester through the end of September,” according to a statement from Edward Blaguszewski, executive director of strategic communications and special assistant to the vice chancellor.

While the specific number of conduct cases pertaining to COVID-19 rule violations remains unclear, “it is accurate to say that a notable number of cases are connected to COVID public health concerns referred to the University,” said Blaguszewski.

As of Oct. 7 there have been 132 positive COVID-19 cases reported at UMass since Aug. 6, with Oct. 5 being the most recent date that cases were reported, according to the school’s dashboard. Fifty-one cases were reported just in the last week.

“University officials emphasize that experience shows the most effective public health practices to deter the spread of COVID-19 are education and frequent testing,” said Blaguszewski in the statement. “Emphasizing a confrontational approach can be counter-productive and discourage participation in contact tracing efforts.

“However, if students are involved in egregious or repeated acts in violation of the UMass Amherst Community Agreement, such matters are forwarded to the Dean of Students for review and potential sanction under the Code of Student Conduct… Sanctions under the Code can range from a reprimand to suspension or expulsion.”

Sanctions under the UMass Code of Student Conduct can include “suspension and expulsion in order to preserve a safe and healthy environment for the University community.”

The Dean of Students Office has not released any details regarding specific sanctions.

McKenna Premus can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @mckenna_premus.