What began as a night of fun for three University of Massachusetts Amherst students resulted in suspension after photos of them partying without masks surfaced in March.
UMA imposed harsh sanctions on the students, whose parents requested anonymity, including suspension for an entire semester and no tuition refund. School administrators defended their decision in a statement, mentioning that the freshmen violated UMA's COVID-19 policies and placed fellow students at risk.
Although COVID cases are decreasing worldwide, universities and colleges are still wary of a potential spike. In addition to mask mandates and remote learning, social distancing rules are still the norm for many schools across the country.
The UMA freshmen attending the off-campus party could trigger a spike in cases if even one tests positive. These precautions aren't entirely off, either – in Florida, thousands of new cases of COVID-19 variants emerged after spring break season ended.
Violating Your School's COVID-19 Rules
Although colleges and universities are opening their doors next fall, COVID-19 precautions remain in place until the risk is negligible.
Understandably, students want a break from social distancing and mask mandates, but not at the risk of delaying their graduation. Unfortunately, even if a student makes a mistake or is in the wrong place at the wrong time, they risk penalties that include suspension and no tuition reimbursement.
Although some students break the rules intentionally, others are unaware that their actions go against their school policy. Moreover, some schools won't hesitate to use students who violate COVID policy to set an example for others. Without the help of an attorney advisor, students lose months of progress for an honest mistake.
If you violate your school's COVID policy, you can take steps to decrease the severity of sanctions, like:
- Refraining from future gatherings in public until resolving the matter with the administration
- Making sure to scrub images and videos of any public gathering off your social media accounts
- Not speaking to peers about the event or case
- Gathering evidence to prove that you did not attend the event or did not violate the university's terms
- Calling an attorney advisor as soon as you receive notice of charges against you by your school
In some cases, peers may report that a student was at a party when the latter never attended. Without the right approach and defense, even a rumor may lead to penalties. In such scenarios, an attorney-advisor prevents unfounded accusations from manifesting into real-life consequences.
Contact the Lento Law Firm
Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento helps you defend against allegations of violating your school's COVID policy. Whether it was an honest mistake or a baseless accusation, advisor Lento prevents overzealous college administrations from hastily making judgments in your case.
If you face allegations of violating your school's COVID policy, don't wait to fight back. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your next steps.