354 UMass Amherst students punished for breaking COVID rules
Officials at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst said Monday they would punish up to 354 students for breaking COVID-19 rules.
This number includes up to 332 students housed on campus.
A recent spike in COVID-19 cases over the past week, totaling 406 – 399 students and seven faculty and staff – prompted Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy to cancel all in-person learning on Sunday. He warned students to follow public health advice, saying penalties would be imposed on violators.
“By acting aggressively now, we are confident that we can contain this increase and return to normal operations more quickly, including a resumption of in-person prices,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
As of Monday evening, the UMass Amherst website reported that there were now 434 active COVID cases on campus.
Amherst City Manager Paul Bockelman and Public Health Director Emma Dragon, in response to the rising number of UMass cases, issued an emergency order on Monday extending the 9:30 p.m. curfew in the community, at least for now.
UMass officials attended the Amherst city council meeting on Monday evening, saying they were responding to the issue.
The university provided the city with a 24 page document highlighting violations and consequences.
“January 1 – February 5 5: 354 students referred to the conduct office; 332 were campus residents, ”the document reads.
Violations included violation of back-to-campus quarantine rules, room overruns, non-masking and social distancing, as well as complaints about noise and other heckling.
The sanctions include suspension, removal from campus, removal of housing from campus, probation and formal reprimands, the university said.
“We really appreciate all the information,” City Council President Lynn Griesemer told UMass officials who followed.