The coronavirus outbreak has led to many issues for universities across the country. Many schools have adjusted their codes of conduct by adding social distancing requirements on their campuses. Students who break these rules may face strict consequences.
Students at Illinois State University recently learned the hard way that simple meetups now come with repercussions. Nearly 100 students face backlash from the university after attending a large group gathering. Here's what you need to know.
What Happened at Illinois State?
Illinois State University students attended a mob-style gathering when the popular YouTube group NELK Boys visited their campus. Police broke up the event for breaking social distancing guidelines set forth by the school and the town of Normal.
The police did not issue any fines for the students and reported that they would not be pressing charges. Although the students do not face legal repercussions, they may face sanctions from the university.
Illinois State University officials are working with the Normal Police Department to investigate the event. The university president announced that event attendees face punishment up to school suspensions.
The NELK Boys event came in the wake of emergency orders to stop the spread of COVID-19. In response to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, Normal town leaders limited social gatherings around campus to a maximum of 10 people. Videos from the event showed that students violated this rule, and many of them did not wear face masks.
Illinois State University officials are threatening sanctions for nearly 100 students identified participating in the mass-gathering. School officials state that the university could impose punishments like attending service hours, ethics workshops, educational programs, and more.
Students who attended the gathering are subject to the school's code of conduct process, including disciplinary hearings. University officials note that students have the right to due process and may choose to appeal their sentences.
New Disciplinary and Misconduct Policies
Schools around the nation are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. Many schools have already updated their disciplinary and misconduct guidelines and Codes of Conduct to prohibit behavior that may increase the virus's spread.
Vanderbilt University's updated misconduct policy does not permit parties, social events, or other group activities that pose a public health risk. Students who do host small meetups must follow COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing masks and physical distancing. Students who host events that break these rules are subject to suspension of at least one semester and possible expulsion.
Many schools have disciplinary and misconduct policies that include similar consequences for students who break COVID-19 protocols. Students accused of Code of Conduct violations should consult an attorney to help them push back against the charges. An experienced attorney can provide knowledge and expertise during the investigation and disciplinary process, including for purposes of potential hearings and appeals. Their guidance can prove vital to achieving a positive outcome and avoiding costly punishments.
National Student Code of Conduct Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless students fight back against disciplinary and misconduct charges across the United States. He will work tirelessly to defend you and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686.