Northeastern University said it fired 11 freshmen who gathered in a hotel room “in violation of academic and public health protocols that prohibit crowded gatherings.”
The students are among 800 students in a study abroad program who are currently staying in double rooms at a Westin hotel in Boston, according to a university statement Friday.
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After the gathering of the 11 in a hotel room was discovered by university staff patrolling Wednesday evening, the students were told they were no longer registered for the fall semester. They have the right to challenge their dismissal at a hearing, the statement said.
“People who fail to follow guidelines – including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing their hands and getting tested – put everyone at risk,” said Madeleine Estabrook, vice-chancellor for student affairs, said in the statement. “Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines are absolutely essential. “
The Westin is one of several Boston hotels used to house students at local colleges and universities during the pandemic, NBC Boston reported.
Graduated students from the northeast have been asked to leave the hotel and must undergo coronavirus tests at the university before leaving. Anyone who tests positive will be transferred to welfare accommodation at the school until they recover.
Student payments will not be refundable, per study abroad program guidelines, the university said.
Northeastern threatened a few weeks ago with expelling all students not following COVID-19 guidelines after an Instagram poll asked incoming students if they plan to party when they arrive on campus.
Official letters sent to 115 students threatened to void their admission if they did not send a response acknowledging that they would comply with the school’s code of conduct, NBC Boston reported.